We are now Aberdeen residents. And if you’ve been following, you’ll know I wasn’t too excited for this move. It’s the sacrifice we’ve made to live and move around with David’s company. We didn’t exactly have a choice in the matter and we couldn’t say ‘no.’ So here we are and we just have to make the most of it.
After our long journey by train to get from Paris to Aberdeen, we were exhausted. The reason we couldn’t take a plane was because of our cat. No airlines would accept pets in the cabin nor in the hold. It was either ship her via a pet relocation/cargo company or take the train. We opted for the latter.
The long journey plus change in food habits, lack of exercise and sunshine and the new (drab) surroundings, just put us into a funk. We tried to get out and about but we mulled around our temporary apartment about half the time. We lacked motivation and energy.
We immediately went apartment hunting on Friday (and then again on Monday) with the relocation agent. We saw a few places but didn’t like our chances of finding a place immediately. Most flats/apartments come fully furnished. Since we have all our furniture coming from Paris, this limited our options. Plus the fact most apartments don’t accept pets. (Really, why is the UK hating on pets?!?) In the end, we found a place and although it has it’s quirks, it’ll do. We should be moving in next weekend. Watch out for an update on how that goes.
I’m slightly embarrassed to say that within 5 days of moving here, we’ve been to the grocery stores about 10 times. Half those times were scoping missions: just a walk through to see what’s on offer. I was overwhelmed and excited by the large Costco and ASDA stores. ASDA is basically Wal-Mart with the same branding and look. Walking through these two, I would have guessed I was back in Edmonton. We bought some delicious pre-made meals from ASDA and went to Costco to load up on a week’s worth of groceries. The plan is to go back to our old ways of grocery shopping once a week. I’m a little rusty on meal planning for the whole week but I’ll get used to it again. We also checked out the local Sainsbury’s and Co-Op. I’m thrilled to have so many more food options here than in Paris. For example: ground turkey and pork, pre-cut sweet potatoes and vegetable zoodles, and large formats. Plus most things are cheaper.
Part of the reason I was not excited about moving here was the weather. I may have survived -30C winters in Edmonton but at least we got to enjoy 30C summer days. Although the winter is milder here, so is the summer. We’ve been in jeans and light jackets the whole week. It’s been cloudy and overcast about 75%. And there’s been a few downpours and a day where it rained like 5 separate times. With average temperatures barely cresting 20C in the summer, I know we’ll be searching for heat and sunshine come vacation time. I have to admit, this past week, it’s gotten me down. However, there have been some sunny spells which we took advantage of but going for runs. And this is a good habit to start as it seems sunny days are few and far between.
The car rental company came to pick us up the morning after our arrival. It was only when we got to their counter that David realized he forgot his licence. So without warning, I had to rent the car and navigate driving on the other side of the road. I got the hang of it but I was happy to return immediately to the car rental place so he could get on the rental agreement. He’ll buy a car for his commute to work but I’ll be holding off as long as I can. I hope to rely on buses, walking and perhaps even biking (yes, despite the weather).
Speaking of buses… I’m not impressed. I was shocked at how expensive they are. 2.30 for a single trip. Which means if I have to connect and catch a second bus, I have to pay a second fare! Daily all-you-can-ride pass is 4 pounds and that’s still expensive to me. Also, there are two different bus companies that operate in the city. They share some of the same stops. But if you buy a ticket or bus pass from one company, you can’t use it on the other. The more I think about it, the more buying a bike seems like the best option.
We just had to try Crossfit Aberdeen, the only Crossfit gym in Aberdeen. So we’re pretty lucky that the coach was awesome and the people were very friendly. After a long hiatus this past month, the workout pretty much killed me. Even though I felt great during the 105 wall-balls and 52 pull-ups, it took me 5 days to straighten my arms again and feel normal. I had the luxury of coaching Crossfit in Paris and had my membership comped. It wont’ be the same here, so we’ll have to learn how to budget for this new expense. It’s quite expensive but we know it’s worth the investment.
Strolling the City
While David was at work, I took the (expensive) bus about 7 stops into the city centre and explored a little. All I can say is this city is really grey… all the buildings blend into the ground. When it’s rainy, it all blends into the sky. There’s no denying it. But it’s not completely void of charm. It’s my mission to go out and share the beauty that exists in Aberdeen and the surrounding areas.
It’ll be a challenge to grow to love Aberdeen. I know that once we move into our place, start making friends and establish a routine, things will look up. Paris has taught me to take advantage and make the most of any situation, seek out the opportunities and to never be bored.
It’ll be more of a struggle here to do all that but I’m ready for it.