We wanted to get to our new flat early because we had basically ordered all of amazon's stocks of home goods and wanted to be there when they were delivered. Upon arriving, it became very clear that our landlords did not honor the part in the lease agreement that said the flat would be cleaned before we moved in, so we decided that Daniel would stay, wait for packages and unpack while I walked to the "grocery store" to get cleaning supplies.
I call them "grocery stores", but they are nothing like the 100s of brands, aisles for miles, one place shops we are used to back home. It is more like a convenience store. They don't sell almond butter or Siracha :-(
I have a side story that will soon be relevant to this. My freshman year of college, I had a car but had to park several blocks from my dorm. One time, I went to the grocery store and bought 2 huge cases of water, not thinking anything of it. About 2 minutes after leaving my car with the water bottles, I started to freak out. "I'm not going to make it! I'm drenched in sweat! What are all of these students going to think if I drop them now? Omg now I'm walking uphill." it was awful and my arms were sore for days.
I say all of this, because it leads me to my story.
I go to the first "grocery store" in search of cleaning supplies, about a 7 min walk from our flat. No broom, no mop. Go to the next "grocery store" and wouldn't you know? No cleaning supplies. I walk to the only other "grocery store" in our neighborhood and you guessed it, nada.
At this point, I'm irritated. It gets back to something I think I mentioned before: nothing is convenient in London. I'd been walking around for about 30 min trying to find a freaking broom, something that would have taken me 5 min in Houston. I finally go up to a worker and asked, "Do people even clean here? Where would a Londoner go to find cleaning supplies?!" he instructed me to go to a store called Sainsburys, 2 tube stops away.
I go, and it's like Walmart, and I've never been so happy to see a store similar to it. There's food, clothes, housing, furniture, mops (but no brooms...turns out people don't use brooms here, but little brushes and dustpans. They seriously don't know what they are missing out on. See what I mean? Not even the tools that they use to clean with are convenient!)
I go overboard, buying everything in site. Pillows, towels, duvets, duvet covers, sheets, sandwiches, water, a water filet, hangers, everything. As the cashier is ringing up my items, I start to eye my bags and think, "Oh s***, I have to carry this all the way back!" Because I don't have a car. Because that would be way too convenient.
As I walk to the tube, I start to think, "ok. I got this. I work out. It's just like carrying heavy weights around. I bet I'm not even carrying 25 lbs per arm. This isn't bad." Then about one block in, I start running into people with my bags on accident. It's bulky. I'm sweating. I start praying that there are no stairs in the tube station.
Make it to the tube, try to casually drop my bags on the ground next to me and hope they don't go sliding everywhere once the tube stops. I accidentally hit a girl sitting down with the mop handle.
I get off the tube and thank god that the escalators are working. I somehow maneuver my tube pass out of my purse without dropping anything, and I just know people are looking at me, thinking "rookie mistake".
I start walking towards our flat while secretly cursing all of the families I have to dodge and walk slowly behind. Do they not see that I'm carrying more bags than I can manage? Move!!!
I'm half way there and my arms start shaking. A handle breaks on a bag, and I'm done.
I call Daniel and tell him to meet me half way, which he graciously did. But my arms are still shaky, 12 hours later.
So, today I learned why no one should ever use a cart when shopping. Because that causes you to buy way more than you can carry home.
Anyways, this is what I came home too. And they're still comin'!
That's my pile of crap that I dropped on the side of the street. And then I called Daniel and he met me to help me carry the rest :-)