That said, I really should formally study French and Italian. I'm so close to Paris, it would be a sin not to visit, and I'd get much more out of it if I spoke better French. And today I had a brief conversation in Italian, but I am limited to statements along the lines of I (or my something) am/am not/do/do not something, plus a few conjunctions. Very limiting. At least I can count on the priest I was conversing with being forgiving!
I hate Tube closures. Especially when I'm running around all day looking at various flats in opposite ends of London. I especially hate when they announce that Picadilly Circus is closed, so I plan to take the Northern Line to a different spot on the Piccadilly Line, only to be told after I get off my train that the Northern Line just closed and Piccadilly Circus just reopened, meaning I have to hop back on the Bakerloo Line, probably about 2 or 3 trains after the one I had just gotten off. I wonder if my tardiness due to Tube delays played a role on my not getting the perfect flat.
And it was the perfect flat. Reasonable rent, friendly like-minded flatmates, spacious rooms, all the necessary amenities, peaceful (hey, I just noticed the jerk upstairs isn't watching t.v. loudly tonight…I wonder why he stopped), in a very nice neighborhood, and a huge garden as an extra. I was really hoping to get that place. Instead, I will accept the place I saw tonight. It's got the second cheapest rent of all the places I've seen, has everything I need (except linen for the bed), blah blah blah…only drawback is that there are about a dozen people in the house. But we each have our own fridge, our own sink, spacious rooms, separate locks on the bedroom doors, and there are four bathrooms; it's like living in a dorm! And hey, I've complained about knowing so few people in London to hang out with; that's about to change!
One thing I realized this evening: I have gotten to know London a lot better these past few weeks with this incessant apartment hunting. Yeah, I knew the touristy stuff around the River in central London just fine. But now I know specific neighborhoods. When someone says Cricklewood, Bethnal Green, Mile End, Stoke Newington, Crouch End, Hampstead, East Dulwich, Islington, Hackney, Greenford, Old Street, Willesden, etc., these names hold some meaning for me now. The tedium and stress of going through the routine of laying myself open to strangers and traipsing throughout London, sometimes the same route several times a day, has yielded some benefit.