Thursday, 17 April 2008

Arrival and Identity

Alright..time for the bread and butter of my posts. Unfortunately as luck would have it, my laptop is nearly dead :)
I arrived here last Thursday, and instantly liked the place. It's small and quaint (in the "everything-shuts-down-at-5pm" way). Mainly though, it is the England that I picture when I think of England.
Naturally my first task to settling into Banbury was establishing my presence at my Neighbourhood Local. Within half an hour of arriving, I found myself at The Swan, a nice little pub near the downtown. An hour later, I staggered out of the Swan, intent on finding myself a flat (I staggered because of jet lag...not because I had been indulging!). Which reminds me...can someone explain the reason that a cup of coffee and a glass of beer are equally priced in this country? Naturally I will be drawn to the beverage that gives me the biggest bang for my buck - and coffee it ain't!

So in coming to the UK and trying to find a flat, open a bank account, use a credit card, etc, one runs into a fairly instant problem - "identity". Here's the standard conversation:
"So to be clear you want to rent a flat, open account, etc"
"How long will you be in the UK?"
"I don't know."
"Do you have a phone number?"
"Yes...but I don't know it."
"Well you can't do anything without a phone number."
**scrambling to find my number.**
"Do you have a post code?"
"I don't have an apartment, so no, I don't have a post code."
"You can't do anything with a post code."
"I just moved here."
"When did you move here?"
"This Thursday?"
"Well you need to establish an identity before you can do..."
"I'll get right on top of that."

So, I decided to create an identity - I became Conchita Perez from Spain, with a shady past and an even shadier occupation.
"No...that's not what we mean about you establishing an identity."
Prior to my leaving Canada, my friend was incredibly excited that I would be able to "reinvent myself" in the UK. "Be an entirely new person", as he described it. I'm not sure what he was implying about the Old Me, but apparently Conchita Perez was not going to fly.

Alright, so some how I have managed to establish an identity. I don't know how it actually happend. Somewhere between renting my apartment, and setting up an account, I became UK Leanne not Canada Leanne. I think we are the same person, but I am seeing the potential for a psychological episode. This could also help establish the necessity for stress leave in the very near future.

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