Edinburgh, April 11th, 2007
Considering I kept waking up and found out that my roommates left the light on (and I was too tired/lazy to get up and turn it off), I had a pretty good sleep. I got up pretty early to find an internetcafe to print out the reference I got from Greg (My boss/mentor/friend back in Holland), to physically give it to the letting agent, as he didn't appear to receive any of my emails. The hostel was fun, but I was getting tired of having to share my room with so many people and having to keep all my stuff in two small bags. I also wanted to open up a bank account that morning. They told me I should come back and try again on Thursday night, but I just wanted to get all that stuff over with.
When I was here last week, looking for an appartment, I couldn't turn a corner without stumbling across an internetcafe. Guess how many I found when I really needed one? Well, one actually. But only after an hour of searching. And there didn't seem to be a possibility to print and they were a self-service joint. The only people working there were serving drinks behind the bar, catering to a gigantic crowd of thirsty people. This made it impossible for me to ask anyone if I could just print one measely A4 piece of paper.
I decided to go to the bank, called HSBC, by the way, to at least open an account that morning. I bought and quickly drank some chocolate milk as a weak excuse for breakfast, then hurried over to the bank. Setting up an account went surprisingly smooth. I got set up in no time and the people were very nice. I did show up 20 minutes late for work because I had spent to much time looking for an internetcafe, but at least I had an account and was ready to get paid!
Or was I?
Apparently payroll didn't recognise the "sortcode" the bank gave me. So, during my lunch break I went back to the lovely people at HSBC, who informed me that there was nothing they could do about it, but if I didn't mind waiting for 20 minutes they could let me talk to someone who could tell me that there was nothing they could do about it. Great! Apparently this could only be taken care of by having the bank contact my employer, but I had to set that up, otherwise they would be violating some kind of regulation.
Let's just take care of this tomorrow. I'm hungry and have other stuff to do. I decided to go back to the internetcafe I visited that morning, called easyinternetcafe, an affiliate of easyjet. This company just oozes with originality. But wait, what's this I see? Someone behind a desk! Who turns out to be the resident print person! (Where were you at 9:00 this morning? Never mind, let me embrace you!) I printed out the reference, and sprinted over to the letting agent, just because I like to rhyme. Finally. At least this has finally been taken care of.
Or has it?
I hand over the reference, only to hear that it needs to be signed... It wasn't. I also found out I needed a reference from my employer.
Burocracy: 1 - Me: 0
Again I show up 20 minutes late. Tired. Hungry. Homicidal.
At least work was really good.
All in all it was a day with some real highs and real lows, with the highs definitely outweighing the lows.
I guess it would be best to end on a weird note. I was just in my room in the hostel and some Italian guy was there, sitting on his bed, playing with his mobile phone or something. This asian guy just walked in with a pair of scissors, went right over to the Italian fellow, gave him the pair of scissors, bent his head down to him and simply said: "Cut." The Italian guy laughed and said: "Okay." The asian guy stuck his head out the window (there was very little light) and the Italian snipped a little bit of hair off of the back of his head. He held it up to the asian guy who said: "That's it?" This repeated itself about five times. Then we all had a big laugh and I left. I decided not to ask any questions because I like to think that they didn't even know each other.
Later that night all my burocracy issues faded away when the Australians (read: the entire hostel staff) took me out for a couple of drinks. Much fun was had.
End of day 2.