Monday, August 6, 2012

Mobile Phone Madness

Actual date of this event: 3 Aug

Home Update: Still waiting...

After we selected a vehicle (see 'Test Drive' post), we decided it was best to take a cab to our next destination rather than walk. Even though the walk would have been much better going back since it is downhill, it was pretty warm outside. It was 1pm and we were very hungry, and we needed to get me a cell phone. The car salesman called us a cab while Luke was finalizing car insurance. A cab showed up and we go outside to get in, and a grizzly Scot mumbles something at us, and we assume he said he was not here for us. Literally, we could not understand a word this guy said. It was one of those awkward moments when he stand there for a few seconds trying to figure it out, but nothing clicks. So we walked away, and he comes our actual cab! This guy we can understand much better - phew!

We head to Union Square which is a giant shopping mall in the City Centre (actually there are about 3 shopping malls in the one sq.mi. of the City Centre, plus shopping on the streets). We pass by the train station which is connected the mall, and find the first place to eat, Peckhams. Luke orders a Chorizo & Goat Cheese Salad and I order a Margherita Pizza. Luke said the salad was "different", but I sure enjoyed my pizza!
Train Station is on the right
Peckhams inside Union Square
After we eat, we head to the Apple store. We were told by a guy at the car dealership to go to Apple because you can buy an iPhone, choose/purchase the service there and the Apple people will give you an honest opinion of the best service. The sale associate at Apple reminds us (we had previously been told, but forgot) that I would not be able to get a cell phone. Since we are new to the UK, we have no credit history. Service company's will not issue you a cell phone unless you have good credit history. Since we have none, the company has no reason to believe we will pay our bill. We could try to apply for service, but we could 1.) get accepted which is very unlikely, 2.) get denied which would then look back on our credit, or 3.) get accepted only under the terms that we pay a very large deposit which would go toward our bill as time goes on. Since we have only been here a week, we have no permanent home, no bill statements and bank statements which is decrease our chances being accepted. We do not want to take the risk of getting denied. We were advised to get a Pay & Go phone for a few weeks until we accumulate what we need to prove we are worthy. We were told that O2 is the AT&T of the UK, so we decide to go with that service.

Luke and I decide to walk around the mall a bit more before we head to O2 to get a phone. There are TONS of shops that look awesome, but I know it is going to be so difficult for me to shop. Since, I am so cheap I am going to have a hard time finding the clothes I need at my usual price. For example: I usually dont like to spend $20 on shirts. Well, when I see a 20pound shirt here, it is actually $31. So I will need to be looking for $12 shirts - hah yeah right! Luke and I see a few stores that are  very similar to back home. We see a TK Maxx (TJ Maxx), Marks & Spencers (combo between Target and Whole Foods) and John Lewis (Dillards). We realize at the John Lewis they sell Polo, so we check out the prices. Here is the big shocker! 75pounds for a normal Polo shirt. In the US, a Polo shirt is normall $75. That means, here you are actually paying $117 for a Polo! I think we will be doing most of our clothes shopping when we go back home.

75GBP = $117

After looking around, we stop at Starbucks to get a coffee. I cant remember how much a Tall Pike Place is in the US, but in the UK it is 1.50GBP (equaling $2.35) which sounds high to me. I may be wrong though. I also discovered while deciding what to order that I will not be able to order my usual Ice Coffee. Yes, who in their right mind would order iced coffee in Aberdeen? This lady will. They dont even on it on the menu. They also dont have the iced teas (which was my second choice). They do however still have Frappuccinos and the two new iced drinks. I was disappointed, so I ordered a Coffee Frapp which I have not had since college and it definitely did not taste the same. Wonder why? I was determined to get a cold drink because it was a warm day! We also discovered that Splenda 'packets' are hard to find. We purchase a container of Splenda for home and Luke used Swwet-n-Low in his starbucks coffee. Both kinds are not the "fine" sweetener... it is grains like sugar. We are very displeased about this.

On with it... Luke and I head to Union Street where we decide to go to O2 for a cell phone. We tell the counter guy that we want the cheapest Pay & Go phone (17GBP = $27). We decide to go with the 10GBP package which gets me unlimited calls but each call and text gets deducted from the 10GBP. When I run out of money, I run out of access to use my phone unless I add more money to my account. The purpose of the phone is for emergency purposes only. I was not happy walking around the city by myself without a way to contact someone if I needed help or got lost. My phone has no data, so I will have to continue taking screen captures before I leave to go anywhere. When we gain more ground in this city, we will attempt to get me an iPhone. Until then, I am stuck with this lovely thing:

While walking out of the cell phone store, I was so distracted by figuring out how to work the 1990 phone that I FELL out of the door. Apparently, I needed to step down out of the door. So I was now on the ground on the sidewalk of Union Street with people walking past me. I actually rolled my ankle a bit, and it was a bit swollen later. Not too bad, but I could feel it.

That night, Laine invited Luke and me to go out with some of her friends. We met some fellow Coogs! I was prepared for an interesting evening because I had heard previously that it gets crazier than New Orleans. First we went to Soul, which is an old church turned into a bar/casino. Here we avoided a drunk man dancing by himself who was there by himself. I never once saw him attempt to talk to anyone, but he constantly made eye contact with everyone around - weird. From there we went to Paramount, where it was more like a club than a bar. It was very loud, and most of the girls were dressed in short dresses and super high platform heels. I guess I was not dressed appropriately, but I was comfortable. Who cares? The bartenders wore kilts, which was pretty awesome! We saw dancing man #2. So, when I dance, I dance for fun. I am silly and do my own thing, I laugh at my silliness, but always with a group. Dancing man #2 was doing exactly what I do when I dance, but he was the only one dancing and he was SERIOUS. It just made me laugh and actually made me want to get out there with him. I see what he did there. What a genius tactic! Last, we went to Aurum. We walk up and see the "ropes" but no one is waiting to get in. We begin walking around the ropes, and the bouncer shuffles back around because we needed to go through the ropes to get in. Stupid. So then he makes us wait a few moments before letting us. I guess the place must be packed, huh? We head in, pass a dispute between some guys going on, go upstairs and there is NO ONE in this place. Really? Why did we have to wait in the ropes? Right away, I am not feeling this place. I mean, I guess it would be cool for a bachelorette night out, but this isnt usually my style. The dance floor is lowered so you can watch people dance. There is a group of ten on the floor doing what I guess they think is dancing. Ive realized that these people dance to their own beat. Really, I hear a beat but its not the one they are dancing to. And they arent dancing to the same beat as each other. We wanted to get down there and show them whats up, but we refrained. I have also learned in my time being here that THESE PEOPLE LOVE RIHANNA. It seems like every song I hear in a store, a bar, a club, a pub, and out the car windows is Rihanna. 

We head home after a long long day around 1:00am. Not too late, but still late enough for us to sleep in until 10am the next morning. A lot was accomplished today, but not a lot was accomplished today. How confusing!

Public restrooms seem to be very large and actually really nice. Pleasant surprise!



  1. This is great... you're so thorough!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. So nice of you to call it thorough. I call it rambling :-/ Anyway, thanks for reading!


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