Saturday, January 1, 2011

Wales: Day 37 Communist Cardiff

Monday, August 9, 2010 was a nice lazy day. We woke up to another random 2let2 employee walking into our house (2let2 is the company that lets - leases - our housing). I guess because we were leaving soon and they needed to find some new people to move in, and they were taking pictures and showing our house. They just walk in without knocking all the time. And they're super sketchy.

So besides our free day in London on Wednesday and then traveling home on the weekend, we had nothing to do all week. We were expected to use the time to work on our big project - the textbook. We were expected to create a textbook on ten major periods, including information from our expository text and brochures from locations, as well as pictures we took when we traveled around. It's a pretty hefty project. Everyone was actually really pissed about it, because it's essentially regurgitating our huge textbook and inserting pictures with formatting. We also needed to finish our 2 books by the end of the week, so we had plenty to do. After some breakfast I set about reading "Princesses of Wales" which was actually really, really cool.

I walked down to the business district to get lunch and groceries. My favorite sandwich shop that is only a couple streets from Penylan is called "The Sandwich Story." I get the hummus & salad (lettuce, carrots, corn, diced tomatoes, etc.) baguette with potato wedges and sweet Thai chili sauce. So delicious. It's my favorite. So I go walking down there (it's a Monday around 2 in the afternoon, mind you), only to find that it's CLOSED. CLOSED! What the? Completely unacceptable. Prime lunch hours and you're closed? No sign, no explanation, no holiday, nothing. I walk to another juice and sandwich shop down the street. I walk in to see them wiping down counters and putting away chairs. Surely they wouldn't be closing, right? I turn to look at the menu board and the waitress walks up to me before I reach the counter with a "Sorry!"

Me - bewildered, hungry expression.
Waitress - "Sorry."
Me - still bewildered. Brow furrowed. Confused.
Waitress - "We close at 2:30 today. Sorry."
Me - open mouth gaping. Nod. Turn on my heel and walk out.

Problems with this situation:
  1. Really? You close at 2:30? Isn't that kind of arbitrary? Why not 3:17? 12:42? Why would any restaurant close at 2:30?
  2. Ok. You close at 2:30. Well. It's approximately 2:10 at this point. Is making me a sandwich going to take you over 20 minutes? Because my clock and my stomach both hate you right now.
  3. Is this Communist Russia? Do businesses just randomly close whenever they feel like it on a random Monday? Did they run out of bread? They just felt like taking a vacation day? Who says you can do that? God bless America.
Hungry and pissed, I walked down to the Tesco Metro to get a replacement lunch and some groceries and then came back to catch up on my blog and email. After showering and reading some more I fell asleep for a few hours. I love the liberty of that. Some of my roommates were surprised that I'd walk through Cardiff by myself. I really liked it. It took me until my last week to feel 100% comfortable with the city, and though it'd be another thing entirely to be walking it in the dark, an afternoon food-and-groceries run was fully within the boundaries of my comfort zone. It was really cool. I felt like an actual adult. Weird, I know.

We made chicken noodle soup for dinner, hung out and complained about our textbook assignment and then trudged back to our rooms to work on them. We needed to email the textbook assignment to Tom the following Monday, and at that point I had 2 1/2 of the 10 chapters done. So almost done, right?

.... Sure.

My motivation for this SUCKED. Seriously. I was the Michael Jordan of finding things to distract me and I spent so much time just daydreaming about going to London and then going home at the end of the week. I think I did almost nothing that day. I kept thinking "Well I have tomorrow, Thursday and Friday to work on it, plus my long layover in Minnesota will be boring so I'll probably work on it then too...."

Well. This story has a somewhat-happy ending, so stay tuned.

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