Lots of nothing, before condos and the plus side of America

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This week has been another one of those rather slow affairs. Monday was spent sorting out homework’s, particularly the Solids II homework that was due at 8am Tuesday morning. With the intention of helping the recently returned Stefan with his homework, I had dinner with him at OVT on Monday evening and enjoyed one of their superb and unsurpassed Quesadillas. On Tuesday I had Solids at 8am, sat around for a long time until Propulsions at 3:30, and then went to the library at 5pm with Nicole and Ben from my propulsions class. Even though we went to the library and just did work, it was still a nice feeling to be being social. There seemed to have far too little of that so far this quarter for one reason or another. With that homework done, Tuesday evening was just spent chilling out in front of YouTube as I watched many various clips of rallies from the 60’s and 70’s. Every now and then I would recognise something, such as the Jyväsklyän Lyseon Lukio in Jyväskylä for the 1000 Lakes Rally, or the narrator would mention someone was from Southend (quite a rare thing!).

 Wednesday was typically slow, as I waited in anticipation for my classes to start at 2pm. I killed 6 hours in the morning, went to the 2pm class and the Solids TA session afterwards and then came home to kill some more time. Ergh. This is getting a bit thick, having all this time with nothing to do! On Thursday, we had our first class quiz in Solids, which I did well in and am happy about. I then wasted a few hours over lunchtime until it was time for propulsions at 3:30. After what was a rather slow, and admittedly pointless, lecture which went around in circles, we walked out and Nicole asked what I was up to now. I truthfully replied, “waste some more time till I can eat dinner”. I was invited back to hang out for a bit, so I eventually got the shuttle bus with her and Ben (the queue at 5pm was huge!) and as Ben decided to get home early, it was just me and Nicole.

She has a really nice place in a condo in La Jolla Village, near UTC. It is a real condo too, just like off a TV show. They have the pool, hot tub, sauna, big gates, and friendly neighbours – all that jazz. I loved the fact it actually looked like a home, which is quite unlike our apartment. In our case, since I just have what I brought with me from England of course I can’t make it too homely or brighten the living room up too much, but even I have got more pictures up than my flatmates, who seem to enjoy the rather minimalist cream of the walls. Not only did she have some nice arty pictures, but there was a cheeseboard on the table. When I remarked something along the lines of “how frightfully posh, a cheeseboard!” she asked if I’d like some cheese. I didn’t have the heart to say that I didn’t really like the stuff, so I said yes and she got a slice of Bree out of the fridge, cut up an apple to go with it, got a couple of beers out of the fridge and we were away. It was very relaxing, something only helped by her ridiculously comfortable couch! I got the impression that she liked being the hostess and entertaining. We played Halo 3 online for an hour or two, and despite the fact I was out of practice and totally useless (and grew to strongly dislike a player by the name of ‘Shezeldread’) I didn’t mind at all. Once Halo had been done to death, and I’d actually got a few kills (I am so much better at 007: Nightfire!) I was asked if I’d like some pizza. Of course, again I had to answer in the affirmative.

I was reminded I was in America when a load more cheese was grated and sprinkled over the pizzas. To go the whole nine yards, a few mozzarella sticks were added for good measure. To be fair though, this actually made the pizza eons nicer than that would have otherwise have been. After folding up some washing, explaining her break up with her old boyfriend and expressing surprise at my no-relationship situation, it was time for the pizzas to come out of the oven. One of Nicole’s apartment mates then appeared from another room with two of her friends, and there was a smell that was a little odd following them, if you catch my drift! The lightheaded way in which they attacked their slices of pizza and salted raw carrot (yes, I said salted), and their conversation only confirmed my suspicions. As the pizza rapidly disappeared, I wasn’t too sorry to see them disappear back off to finish smoking what they had started. Before sitting down to watch a movie, Nicole said she’d fancy getting ice cream, and being an ice cream connoisseur I enthusiastically said I’d love some, and had got my shoes on faster that you could say ‘ice cream sundae’. We went to town a bit on the ice creams and sorbets, but if you’re going to do a job, it’s worth doing it properly! The others had returned to the living room by the time we got back, and had selected a film off Netflix to watch. It was called “Assassination of a Class President” and was about a high school class president who had been framed for stealing the SAT’s. It was amusing and entertaining enough, and had enough of an Agatha Christie-style to keep my attention, but it wasn’t a classic by any stretch of the imagination. When the film finished, the clock hit 10:30, and it was time for me to head back. It had been a very good evening out though, we had some good banter (oh dear, I vowed never to say that!) and it was much better than the evening I had thought I was going to have.

It’s really just another example of why I enjoy living in America. Without really trying too hard, I’ll admit, I’ve met so many really great people here and done more social things that my first two years of Edinburgh put together. It also means that I don’t really mind the long periods of nothing, because I know that California never fails to surprise, and there is always something good just around the corner!

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