Ironically enough, I'm not able to watch Brooklyn Nine-Nine here in the States, but in London I was able to devour it via Netflix, and I watched it a lot between running around London, working at my museum, and writing my dissertation. Two things were constant in my Clapham flat: me making steaming bowls of instant ramen to get full, and plowing through B99 while I ate. The gif to your right is a funny quote, but it's also one I identify with right now.
A lot of things are up in the air for me. Not in a horrible way; more of a mildly uncomfortable way, like a sweater that's too itchy but you're in public and have a full schedule so you can't go home and change until the end of the day. I almost considered trashing this website completely because I'm so crisscrossed with everything going on. I don't plan on publishing any more books in the next year (though five more are contracted), unless I find a pocket of free time to deal with that. And on Friday, I'll have been in the United States for a month. It's confusing, because that's not a very long time, but it also is a very long time. I haven't been in London for a month. I didn't exactly have culture shock when I got back, but it's been weird not writing time in the 24-hour format, and it sucks that I have to Facebook video call my friends instead of just meeting up in a cafe somewhere. I also have to deal with 5-hr and 12/13-hr time differences when planning these, which is not ideal. I miss the foods I used to eat (though I did order kimchi from Oregon and that was a blessing) and being able to visit museums. I really miss museums; I didn't realise how often I went until I left. I miss walking everywhere, and the camaraderie and infuriating business of the Tube. It's begun to snow here. I miss the Christmas lights on Oxford street, and my museum in King's Cross, and espresso coffee. That was a genuine betrayal of my core beliefs--I hated espresso until it was the only thing available in London. Now filter coffee often tastes too watery.
I do not miss sleeping in a frozen flat where the radiator doesn't work, air-drying my clothes outside because hardly anyone has a dryer, or paying £34 a week in transport once my student discounts expired. I really like my cushy queen-sized bed that everyone comes and sits on, lying down on the couch (god I missed couches in London), and my bookcase, and my car, and having tons of food in the kitchen. When I first got home, I was starving all the time and didn't know why. My sister said it was because I had food readily available for the first time in a year, and I think she had a point. In London I would only buy enough food to survive on, and here there's a full cupboard and fridge.
Some funny things have happened. I get yelled at when I say, 'bin' instead of 'trash can', I ordered pub chips at a restaurant and got really bewildered when they gave me handmade potato chips instead of thickly-cut potato wedges, and one time we went out to eat and I was focused so hard on not saying 'takeaway' that it came out 'Can I please get it, like...to go?' and I sounded like a complete idiot.
I've applied to museums and art companies in New York City, New Jersey (Princeton), Massachusetts, London, Edinburgh, Singapore, and Hong Kong. In the process I've learned that the world has many, many art museums I've never been to, and that deeply excites me. I've also picked up freelance work as a website designer and social media manager for a local coffee business, something that was a complete fluke but I'm very happy to have. It keeps my mind and hands busy, and I come home smelling like coffee, which is nice. I also will be doing some freelance work for a bookstore I worked at two summers ago: this is something that will look really good on my CV while I wait to hear back from museums (which hopefully will be soon. So far it's only been three or so rejections and then complete radio silence, and I've applied to lots of places). I have my heart set on four or five of them, and we'll see if any bat an eye in my direction.
That's all for now, and I'll definitely post something again when the dust settles and I can definitively say what'll happen next.
P.S. - below is something I wrote to express myself after coming back from London, maybe two weeks after I'd been back. If you care to read it, you can click 'Read More' below.
Official website of Rachael Kosinski, 23.
Pen for hire.