No one said moving abroad would be easy, but, my goodness, it’s been so frustrating!
MY PROGRAM HAS BEEN CANCELLED.
As HBL would say, I have a tendency to focus on the negative, so I’ve made this experience about accentuating the positive, as the sappy posters in my high school would always advise. However, it’s a little difficult when you’re in the throes of complete and utter culture shock AND your college has cancelled your academic program.
The hardest thing about this whole experience has been getting used to the way people interact with one another in this country. I’ve never before experienced such horrible customer service and business communications in my life. From a letting agency that thinks it’s acceptable to keep us waiting on essentials such as plumbing to banks that have employees that are so lazy they lie about the products and services they offer to universities that cancel programs without letting their students know, I am appalled by the way people are treated by businesses in England. It’s even more upsetting that everyone around me has a very “Oh, well. It could be worse” manner that makes me feel like a complete and total jerk for getting worked up and indignant by the way we’re being treated.
I even think I have it a bit easier, as the moment I open my mouth and people realize I’m not from the UK, they seem a little more patient and accepting of my queries (except at our terrible letting agency). If my accent doesn’t work, dropping my place of employment does. (I did not do this purposely; when I was at the bank signing up for an account the banker called over a co-worker to assist her and the co-worker snootily asked if I “planned on working” whilst in the UK. When I said, “Yes, I already have a job at Harrods,” the first banker’s mouth dropped open- literally- and she said, “Well, you didn’t mention that.” As if it mattered. I wanted a student bank account as advertised on their website, which they said I had to open at the Pall Mall branch in Central. Even though their website says I can visit any branch. Grrrrrr.)
Bottom line: I’m getting the run around from every which way, which makes it all the harder to feel settled. I spent today walking in the pouring rain with an umbrella that disintegrated upon contact with water. I walked two miles in the pouring rain to a Starbucks that didn’t have wifi. Couple that with the frustration of not knowing my way around and the fact that I’m useless at doing simple things like making toast or washing a load of clothes- all the appliances are very different- and you have one frustrated and overwhelmed Khaleelah Estella-Jean Jones.
Luckily, this is a problem that can be solved(ish) by a trip to the amazing Bloody French in Notting Hill with frands.