Sunday, August 2, 2009

Wherever you wander, wherever you roam...

Since one can't do upper-level graduate coursework without a roof over her head, I am now proud owner renter of a sweet little one-bedroom flat in Glasgow! It's located in Maryhill, a diverse area in every sense of the word, be it economics, skin color, or nationality. Maryhill has its rougher edges (understatement), but also has really great bits about it too.

Or at least it does where I am (in the decidedly/hopefully not-
as-rough fringes of the notorious G20 postcode). I am three blocks from the Kelvin Walkway, which follows the river as it winds from Dawsholm Park, four miles north of the city, down to the River Clyde, and the walkway feels like another world away from the noise and the grime, rather than something that's smack in the middle of a large city. I am five minutes from the Botanic Gardens. And only half a mile from the top of Byres Road and Great Western Road, the two main drags of the West End, chock full of pubs, restaurants, shops, and two subway stations. It's about a 20 minute walk (which is nothing) to the university, and if the weather's terrible or I'm feeling especially lazy, there are three major bus lines right outside my door to take me to campus and another two to take me directly into town.

But the best part of my new place? Minus being on the third and top floor with a big bay window, high ceilings, hardwood floors, walk-in closet, gas cooking, electric fireplace, and views of the Campsie Fells (though admittedly, I'm much, much further away from the Fells than that picture)? It's that I am 100 feet from the big Maryhill Tesco! Which is one of the super Tescos, containing a housewares and electronics section, in addition to being a gigantic, US-style grocery store! It doesn't get more convenient than that, and I'm sure once the weather gets bad again in the fall, I'm going to be insanely thankful that I have food and toilet paper just outside my front door.

Also, the flat is on the final approach path for one of the runways at GLA, which means on a good-weather day, I can sit in my big bay window and watch (though luckily not hear) the planes go by. It's a pretty cool view, between the occasional 777, the hills, and an overview of northern Glasgow. I like being on the third floor. I like being removed a bit from the street.

Overall, I'm a little in love with my flat. And really excited to be living alone again with a kitchen to myself. It is so hard to cook properly in a communal kitchen. And not cooking properly makes me ten types of antsy. But this place has a good kitchen. It's one of the things that made me fall in love with it. That, and the windows. I really, really love my windows.

Fun UK fact of the day: My gas bill isn't a bill at all. It's pay as you go. Like my mobile phone. PAYG gas works with a little card. You top up the card at a pay point, and put money on it. Then you insert it into a little box in your utility closet. When the card runs out of money, you don't get any more gas.


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