Tell Me About Your Week

It seems impossible that I’ve been in Glasgow less than a week. If old age speeds time up, perhaps we can counteract that effect by moving from familiar surroundings to strange new cities, every week or two. On the other hand, it’s so exhausting that the perceived protraction of time is squandered by naps and lassitude.
I flew from Durham last Sunday afternoon. The flight experience was unremarkable, save that I only got bout ninety minutes’ sleep on the overnight to Glasgow, and the elderly 757 had only a few screens, showing all the same programming (and the one nearest me was dimmer than optimal, so the darker scenes in A Night At The Museum: Smithsonian escaped me.
I arrived at Glasgow on schedule, and was permitted through immigration after a thorough (but agreeable) questioning. There were no customs inspectors in sight (literally; one could have smuggled any sort of contraband into Scotland). Since I arrived at the crack of dawn, though, and had no keys to my flat, I hauled my baggage up to the upper-level dining area to pass an hour or so drinking coffee and trying to think through the fact that I now live in Scotland.
I then took a cab into downtown Glasgow (at rush hour) to obtain my keys from the landlord’s solicitor. After an hour or so, the lease was ready, I signed, received the keys, and took a cab out to my new neighborhood. I opened the flat, unpacked my clothes into the closet, and hiked from the flat to the Department of Theology and Religious Studies to show them that I actually exist. They showed me my new office — third (= US “fourth”) floor walk-up — and greet some of my new colleagues. Then, suddenly, I was overwhelmed with weariness and staggered home.
This is where the story gets weird. When I arrived at my flat, barely conscious, I couldn’t manage to open the doorknob lock. I turned and twisted and pushed and pulled for ten minutes or so, but nothing worked. I asked my friendly downstairs neighbor to give it a go; he tried for another fifteen minutes. Since I didn’t have a mobile phone, I asked whether I might use his phone to call my landlord’s solicitor. I called her, she called my landlord, my landlord called my neighbor, and eventually soeone in the chain arranged for a team of joiners (yes, “joiners,” just as in Midsummer’s Night Dream) to come pry open the door and replace the knob. As it turns out, they had to break the doorknow off the door altogether, and they wouldn’t have a replacement knob-lock assembly till the next day. By now, it was about 5:00 Monday afternoon, and I still hadn’t slept more than 90 minutes since Saturday night. I collapsed, slept and waked in alternating shifts till morning, when I woke up and prepared to greet the joiners.
(More after church)

2 thoughts on “Tell Me About Your Week

  1. My week was better, thanks.

    I’ve never done something like what you’re doing now. In my imagination, “trying to think through the fact that I now live in Scotland” would be about like “trying to think about the fact that I am crawling naked on the face of a rock hurtling endlessly through deadly vacuumous depths.” On the one hand, nothing that others haven’t done before me lots of times; on the other hand, something that might, under the right (wrong?) conditions, give me the wiggins for a spell.

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