journal for 2002-10-05

168 hours down…

I’m now a little over one week into exile. So far, so bearable.

Despite a late start, this was a very full day, especially for my gut.

I woke up around 1111 this morning, if memory serves me right. I waited for The Boss to call and say that Godfrey was on his way, but apparently I had misunderstood the previous day’s discussions, and I was just expected outside around 1200. By 1200, when I hadn’t heard from anyone, I started some tea and had a little shortbread. Soon after finishing, I got a call and headed outside. The three of us hit work, pondered a possible virus problem, and headed into Cardiff for lunch.

Lunch was crazy big! Last week, eight of us ate a nice big meal with soup and entree for a total of roughly 75 GBP. Today, three of us ate lunch for about the same. Of course, we seriously over-ate. I had a crawfish cocktail, a grilled Scottish salmon steak, garlic bread, tea, and sticky toffee pudding. I was full. I was full before dessert, but Godfrey tempted me, and I ate.

After lunch, we walked around Cardiff a bit and looked at the museum downtown, which was something like a combined National History and Natural History thing. For example, they had an exhibit called The Evolution of Wales that dealt with the origins of the piece of rock now called Wales. Weird! All the signs were in both Welsh and English. Later, I found an ATM (“cashpoint,” they say here) that asked which language I wanted. I impressed myself by identifying a pleiosaur skeleton from afar, based on knowledge gained from Animal Crossing. Who said video games are mind-numbing?

We looked at the entrance to Cardiff Castle, but the place was closed, so we didn’t go in to look closer.

On the way back to Godfrey’s car, I started putting to use the digital camera I’m borrowing from the UK IT department. I’ve begun taking pictures of all the weird little cars they have here. I’m taking other pictures as well, of course, but these are the most satisfying. Some cars, here, are just weird. Others are simply awful, like the Ford Ka. I saw one, today, that was something like a car-sized Pontiac Aztec. Ugh!

When Rahm came to get me from work, he said, “I hope you’re hungry!” Erk! There was a multi-course meal waiting for me at his place. It was good, but I was stuffed to begin with! I ate what I could, having explained my stuffage, and then we headed down to the pub for a few beers. Some guy, who said he’d come up from London, was playing rock songs. He played Fly (Kravitz), Sexual Healing, and that “Hope You Guessed My Name” songs by the Rolling Stones. He was pretty good, and at some point I started hoping (for no known reason) that he’d start playing Black (Pearl Jam). I really like that tune. I’ll have to listen to it Monday at work.

Most of the day was enjoyable and simple. The Boss, Godfrey, and I discussed how woefully underpaid the UK IT staff seems to be. We also discussed lots of other, happily non-work-related topics. I got my laundry back. For all I know, it was back yesterday. When I was concerned that it still wasn’t back, I checked the closet, and it was there—I hadn’t looked in there since I arrived.

Well, that’s about it. There may be more, but two pints of Carlburg is enough to make me unsure. I’ll leave it at that.

Written on October 5, 2002