I can now see why cooking can be a nice thing to do, now that I have enough time (too much time!) and the need to do cheap things that accomplish more than just entertainment! I went out to a pub across the street from the studio last night with my friend Kaja (she is in the program as well). I would consider her one of my best, if not my best, friend here. Anyway, we just wanted a beer and did not want to buy food because we are too poor, but we were both very hungry because we had just had class. Long story short, there was a party there that was clearly wasted and had forgotten about a whole table of food behind them (we are talking chicken skewers, veggies, quesidillas, buffalo wings). We stared for the longest time, and then decided to take some action and move to a closer table. We vulture-like monitored that food. They started gettting ready to leave, and we thought we for sure had it in the bag until one of their servers suggested to them to remember to bring food home with them. Kaja and I were at the point of hysteria! Luckily, they only took a few things, and one of the other servers said 'I am gonna pitch the rest. Anyone want it?' The 'anyone' we was referring to really was just Kaja and I, as we were basically the only ones left there. It was amazing! We ended up with two boxes of buffalo wings (one which we polished off right then and there), two boxes of veggies, and a box of chicken skewers. I walked home with the skewers and a box of veggies - therefore, stiryfry. Yes, there WAS a point to this story.
My phone interview with Surrey Thursday morning was fantastic. Funny thing - I was wrong about the time difference by two hours, and we had arranged for the head of the MA program to call me noon his time, and what we presumed to be 7am my time. Not so - it is a seven hour difference, so he called at 5 in the morning! It woke me up and I ignored it, as it was my intention to get up at six to prepare for the interview. I laid there and tried to decide if I would go back to sleep or call back, and I ended up choosing option number two - I was already awake. So I made some coffee, prepared myself, and called back. I ended up talking with him for about an hour! I was really appreciative that the program head (yes, THE person I wanted to be talking with) took a whole hour out of the middle of his day to talk with me. We talked about my research interested (which he thought were really interesting - score!), my background, my intention for my degree (he was impressed with my choice of Riverside for a PHD, and thought it was great that I already know where I want to go), why I chose to apply at Surrey. In turn, I asked him about his background - I always find such things super-interesting. In short, it went extremely well. I finished and submitted my application that morning, and ordered another transcript to be sent there, as well as postal mailing my GRE scores (which they don't need, but I figured 'why not?'). I sent a follow up email to Stuart (the program director) to say thank you, reiterate that I would be happy to send any other kind of materials they would like (choreography sample, technical sample, writing sample, etc). I also asked the one question I forgot to ask - if they allow deferrment. I received an email back from him today, noting how much he enjoyed talking with me, and that deferrment is certainly no problem. I was soooo happy to hear that - it makes me brain rest a bit easier in the 'future' section.
Beyond that as of late, I have been worrying about money. Now that a whole month of being here has passed (which occurred to me on the way home today is crazy - this month has passed SO fast; I feel like I have only been here a few weeks), I realized that I spent a bit more than I budgeted more, and that I am going to have to be a lot more careful about it. I felt like an asshole yesterday when I had been planning to go out with my roommates and program mates for Rebecca's birthday, and I ended up bailing out because it turned out that the club they chose had a 7 dollar cover last night. I am sad I missed a good time and was not there to celebrate with Becca, but I just cannot continue spending this way, or when the end of my time here hits, I will not have enough money to get through! I have always disliked when people use 'I cannot afford it' as an 'excuse' to not go out, but I can obviously see now that it is not just an excuse. I think I knew that before, but not this closely. I feel like telling people here that it is NOT because I do not WANT to go do these things (well, sometimes it is, like tonight when they were going to a movie and I wanted nothing more than to sit on my ass by myself at home, to have alone time, relax and get some stuff done that I had not gotten to this week), but because I made a choice coming here - I knew there was a chance that I would not find a job, and that things would be really tight financially. Well, turns out that scenario is the case right now. That is ok with me, but I feel like I will have to explain that every time something like this comes up. I hope my roommates and people in my program can learn to understand.
I had thoughts again today on how much I dislike 'Big Box Architecture' (for lack a better term). I do not think this is a 'Western' thing, as I would call England and Ireland and such other places as 'Western,' but these places do not have the ridiculous waste of land like the US and Canada. It is so upsetting for me to constantly look around and see wastelands of consumerism. I know this sounds so clique, but it truly is frustrating. To think that you pick up and move to another country, just to see much of the same thing visually, is frustrating. This is further evidence to me that I need to get out and see and live in other places - ie London for school - to feel satisfied for hope that there are better ways to use land. Oh, if only our history allowed us to be so efficient early on.
I am recognizing now, sitting here, that I have listed to many things for myself to do, when I simply and truly wish to just sit on my duff, shut my brain off a bit, and watch a friggin movie. So here I go. . .