Out of the Blue

August 26, 2010

There’s this incredible arts centre near my flat. It has 82 galleries and used to be a military drill hall.

That’s right. They also have a cafe. And, a small market that meets on Saturdays. They have four stalls. One sells vegetables, one is a bakery, one makes oil and chutneys from local ingredients. I was so excited, I bought items from every stall. The fourth stall? A woman who is paid to help people repair their clothing. The only condition is that she teaches people along the way.

Before I left the States, I bought a pair of jeans from a thrift store for $7 from Kinston, NC (woo! woo!). I had long been searching for jeans that sparkle, and these jeans have great embroidery on the back pockets. Not only are they beautiful, but they fit perfectly. They are not too long, and they don’t bulge out in the back (I know the women understand what I’m talking about). They even have a stitched tag on the inside that says “God Loves You.” Don’t ask me who makes them, I’ve never heard of the brand! I truly believe these jeans dropped from heaven.

There was only one problem: the zip kept falling down (zippers are zips here)! I did not have time to get them repaired before I left the States, so I trusted that there would be opportunity here for that, and there definitely was!

On this lady’s advice, I went to a cloth shop just a few blocks away (now I also know where the fabric store is) and purchased a “wee zip” (wee = small) for 80p (that’s about $1.25). I went back, and within an hour, the woman and I took out the old zip and replaced it with the new one. Amazing!

I was going to show you a picture of the jeans, but it was so awkward taking pictures of myself wearing them :). Trust me, they look great!

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Well, Hello!

The first thing you should know is that there’s a whole lot that goes into moving (which is why I haven’t written in a while). For instance, not realizing that my third bag for my international flight would cost $200 (first bag free, second bag $50, third bag $200 – it’s not logical). And, all of my bags were under 50 lbs.

Not to mention all the tasks I’ve had since I’ve been here: going shopping (it took me a while to find plastic coat hangers and even something as simple as matches), getting a bank account (still working on that one), signing up for bills, and unpacking.

The second thing, though, is that living here is just amazing and worth every bit of the effort. I think I’ll let some pictures tell the story:

View down my street on a sunny day.

The church office is just around the corner from the church in this photo.

The view from the desk in my room.

On the left, the Castle. On the right, a really great Christian cafe. (Seriously, they have art prayer meetings).

Which brings me to my next post. . .