It is said that most people are smarter in retrospective and I don’t know about you, but I know that I am. When I stop and analyze something that has happened in the past, I do a much better job than analyzing a hypothesis about the future – my blonde Rapunzel neurons just get tangled up. One thing I knew about 2018, even when we were still in 2018, was that it definitely was the most challenging year so far, but also the funniest. So I would like to focus on the funny side and make a list of some of the things that I’ve learn in 2018.
If you know me, you know that I am not the most conventional person of them all, so you can expect the unexpected (which is one of my lessons I learnt this year also). To give you a heads-up, in 2018 I spent a huge amount of hours on the tube (metro / underground) so I was very tempted to make this blog post about what the tube has taught me this year, but I’ll keep that for another post.
1. Even the British politeness has a limit
…and it’s easier to test it than you might think. When I moved to London and I started hearing how the British speak English, I thought to myself – they are so polite! They make sentences twice as long just to add: would you be able to, will you excuse me, would it be ok with you, do you mind if I, thank you, I really appreciate it, thank you again and again. Wow, they must be the most polite people I have ever been surrounded by.
Now about the limit. I still believe what Sting says :”a gentleman will walk will never run” after he gave way to a lady, but never on the tube. The tube wakes up the beast and there is no rule of politeness except if you are pregnant and wear the badge, as if your tummy would not be enough, you might be offered the first seat. This all tube fierceness got to a point that if somebody does give way to you, you are either left with your mouth open in surprise, or feel you are in their debt for life.
Conclusion : the tube can piss off the British!
2. If you pee blood, it might be beetroot
If you read my November monthly round-up from 2018, you might have read of that lovely Sunday afternoon when we paid a visit to the Emergency because Paul has urinated blood. Blonde as I am, I have not thought of what he has eaten that day, also because it was actually him who cooked, but it turns out – he ate beetroot, hence the red urine. (slap on the forehead emoji)
3.Where to buy your meat
This is absolutely vital information for all Romanians all around the world (except those that are in Romania). Apparently, the Polish like their meat as we like ours. So if you are like me, and can’t get used to how the British like their meat – really, I’ve been eating more Asian food than any since we moved here, only to discover that Polish meat tastes like the meat from home.
Conclusion: Best sausages in London are Polish. (don’t believe me? just try)
4. Added rule to shopping at Zara
I have abided by my set of rules most of the time last year, but this Christmas holiday, a new rule was written. You might remember that I decided not to shop from any central London Zara – they are just too messy and crowded. So I kept on going to my local Zara, which is just as big as the Regent Street one, but much better organised, the queue is not eye-itching long and you can actually find sizes.
However, I did a huge mistake! I went on the 30 of December. Because I was the one checking opening times, I saw 11 am which turns out to be the Shopping Center opening time, Zara only opens at 12pm. However, we were there at 11 am and people were already queuing in front of the store. We were surprised to see a queue this far from any central Zara, but then at 11.05 people started going for coffee and that’s when we realized it actually only opens one hour later.
At 12pm, the queue was 4 times the size. Once the store was opened, everything got a lot more comfortable because we noticed, not many people were actually browsing around, but the returns queue was reaching the middle of the store…lesson learned: never shop from a physical Zara store during holidays!
5. Expect the unexpected
This happened on the same day with our Zara adventure when we got to the Shopping Center at 11am and almost nothing was open. However, we noticed Boots was open so we went to buy our usual : shampoo and pain killers (Anadin). This might sound like all we do is wash and hurt, but actually, we were stocked on everything else.
For some reason, we didn’t go to self-checkout. We went to the till so the lady starts scanning our shopping and then says: “You do know you should not give Anadin to children under 3, right?” I was left so speechless that I just responded mechanically that we do know and thanked her (the British way) and then it dawned on me. It was not that the Sales Assistant had a glance at our loving faces and thought, yes: they must have procreated the specie, it was actually my Johnson’s Baby shampoo that I use for my brassy blonde hair when it’s at it’s driest that inspired the now logical comment.
6. More sleep is better than no sleep
I tried it the American way and by this I mean that I did take the advice that all these motivational entrepreneurs give: work for your future in your free time, sleep less, work more, your mind has control over your body. But it’s either that my body is in total control or simply the fact that I don’t function with less than 7 hours of sleep. I could do 6 one day, but then the next day I am knackered.
This 2018 year, I felt this more than ever: my mood is much improved when I slept enough…or when I slept enough and it’s sunny outside.
7. Digging up the past
As enticing as this might sound, I am actually referring to the fact that I just discovered that in 2014 I made a Goodreads account that I have totally forgotten about. Funny thing, I used the same email address, so when I tried to make a new account one of these past few days, I discovered books that I’ve read years ago and totally forgot about them.
I wish I would have told you in this blog post that what I’ve learnt in 2018 is the key to success, or how to make more money while lounging on your couch, but I am not that kind of person. Instead, now you know about good sausages, when not to go shopping and what pissed off the Brits.
Coffee kisses! (because it’s 8am when I’m writing this)