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  • Maria Vandenburg

Moments of Gratitude

So... I just set off the emergency alarm at this coffee shop that I am at in London. Oh, you know the "I've fallen and I can't get up" type of alarm.


NOT EMBARRASSING AT ALL. Le sigh.


I went to use the toilet and the next thing I know the red lights are flashing and the loud alarm is blaring. Apparently, I wanted my own dance party in the bathroom, lol.


So a staff member comes along and knocks on the door, I open it and respond with "I'm so sorry, I thought I was flushing the toilet"

But you know what? I'm actually grateful for that moment.


Of course it was insanely embarrassing, and I starred down at my feet as I made my way back from the bathroom to the table by the window where I am currently sitting.


BUT - it also provided some much needed comic relief. Who sets off fire alarms/emergency bells when they use the restroom? Apparently Maria.

It was just a reminder to not take life too seriously, and make sure and appreciate the small things.



OK - so "Items have learned today"


-They don't really sell bags of chips over here. First off they are called "crisps" - chips are french fries. Second off - when they are in big larger bags like I'm used to at home - they are then individually wrapped into 6 packs. I guess the British really love their portion control.


-Laddy = manly/fratboy-ish/bro


So I am on day 4 of actually physically living in my new flat in London.

The only thing I wish? I could sleep normally. My body tends to think that its time to wake up sometime between 12:00am - 2:00am, eventually I settle in and get some sleep around 4:00am, only to emerge wide awake at 6:00am - 7:00am. This has happened the last 3 nights in a row.

It also doesn't help that my new flat is literally right next to train tracks... BUT, I know I will get there eventually.



I LOVE MY FLAT. It's so great. It's a very old building that the Queen's treasurer used to live in. There is some paperwork in the flat that talks about the Queen would occasionally have tea there. I'm not sure how much of that believe, but either way, I love the place.

It's so centrally located. I literally walk two blocks and I'm right at the River Thames - with a view of Big Ben. The main police headquarters is right across the street as well, which I also love because it makes me feel safe.


Tiffany - my new flatmate is fantastic. But I kind of knew that already. We skyped 3 or 4 months ago, and I sensed right away that we would get along. You know when you have that instant connection with people? She's very sweet and cute and fun. I'm excited to get to know her better - her first question to me was "Are you going to make me zen?" I loved it.


Aside from lack of sleep and adjusting to actually having a home here, I don't have much to report at the moment. I feel like I am currently in the moments of calm before the storm.

I have the next few weeks to hopefully acclimate myself to London time and re-group before the chaos of a brand new MBA program and a full-time job at as a Project Manager in a technology department.


So that's where we are at. I'm trying to do my best to be mindful and live in the present moment, even if that present moment includes being horrified because I just set off the emergency alarm, haha.

Hope everyone is well!

© 2020 by Maria Vandenburg