Aug 11, 2008

As Usual, Time Flies

I had a constant sense of unease during the first week here, trying to figure out how to get around a new city, not knowing where I'll live, and being unsure of whether my luggage would still be there when I got back from work. The second week was quite the opposite though; it surprised me how quickly I got into a routine. The weekdays on the past week have flown by.

I try to leave the house by 9:30am, it's a 25 minute walk to work to get there by 10. I've been leaving work around 7pm, and by the time I walk home, buy groceries, make dinner, and clean up, the day's pretty much over. I found a climbing gym, so a couple of nights were spent climbing (kinda expensive at 9 euro to boulder for an evening). Wednesday night was home group night from one of the two churches. after a week I hadn't had time to start working on the side project I had wanted to work on at home, and I've barely gotten through processing photos or updating the blog.

So I've been meaning to put up photos of the apartment for a while:

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It's pretty roomy 1 bedroom, and fully stocked with IKEA furniture. The kitchen is pretty well stocked with IKEA kitchenware, and has a decent spice rack too. I'm pretty much set for visitors, in case anyone wants to come by.

Things here are definitely more expensive than the US. I'm feeling it but I'm trying not to do the currency conversion in my head. One of the cheapest meals I've found is a "turkish pizza", a round flatbread with some toppings (ie spinach & feta), covered with some sauces and condiments and rolled up. They can be had for as low as 2 euro. A bagel with cream cheese goes for around 3 euro. Falafel sandwiches are usually a little under 4 euro, shwarma sandwiches are usually around 5 euro. These constitue the majority of the cheap fast food. The cheapest sit down meal I've had was a 10 euro quarter chicken with fries and salad.

Drinks and juices tend to be fairly pricey. A 500 ml bottle of pop at a corner store tends to go for about 2 euro, a 350 ml beer around 2.30 euro, a coffee at a cafe around 3 euro, a large fresh orange juice around 4 euro.

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I'm hoping to save at least a little by eating in more. Here's a sample of my first grocery trip (click through for prices), and the price of a meal of pasta comes out to about 4 euro. Right now though, I think I'm spending a lot more on snacks than on meals themselves. For example, Kettle Chips are 2 euro for a 150g bag, and a pint of Haagen-Dazs went for 6 euro. The Kettle Chips here are made in the UK, and they're far less crispy and crunchy as the US version. They're also a lot less tasty. I don't think I'll be getting any more.

I've also noticed that they don't seem to have baking soda here, I don't know how they get rid of fridge smells.

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