A new old apartment
Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019 - 9:37 pm.

The week was slow, sprinkled with unsuccessful house-hunting. On one of our searches around a neighborhood, on Wednesday, Andrew and I witnessed a young cat dying of a heart attack on a yard. It dodged a car coming his way by an inch, when he ran to the street after being scared by another cat. Our spirit, already burdened with failure, came crashing down.

Yet, about an hour later, we came home and we saved a life, albeit a tiny one. Just as we were walking by the window to open the door, a little bird crashed against the window from the inside of the house, followed by our black cat's eager fangs. What a nightmare! Andrew rushed to open the door. I thought the bird would be dead in those precious seconds, but the little bird had managed to hide behind a bookcase. We were able to lock the cats up and the bird flew out the door. It didn't seem to be hurt, thankfully. We were so relieved.

That day, we were supposed to go to the movies. But we walked around neighborhoods and saw the kitten die, and then we were so disheartened by our search for a place to live that we just came home. Had we stuck to our original plan, we would have come home hours later and we'd have probably found the dead body of the tiny bird. There weren't many feathers on the floor, so it had come into the house somehow just a minute or so before we arrived.

Anyway, the week ended on a hopeful note! We are getting the apartment in front of our university! We were finally called to come see it on Friday afternoon. If everything goes according to the plan, we'll be signing the lease on Monday afternoon. Then we can start moving in next week! No more living far away from everything!

On the minus side, it's the same apartment (in another building in the same apartment complex) where we used to live before moving to the UK. We weren't too crazy at first about living there because it'd feel like a step back, like returning to the same thing. However, on the plus side, that same thing worked for us really well for four years. The apartment's across the street from our workplace, there are grocery stores and takeaways nearby, and there's a bus stop outside the building.

We cannot celebrate for sure until we have signed the lease, but we're relieved nonetheless. Thus, today we allowed ourselves a day at the city centre, window-shopping for our new-old apartment, and buying a few souvernirs for my family (for when I see them in January), and books for us! Books! I also got a rainbow bandana, we discovered a beautiful café, and we met with Andrew's friends for lunch.

I came out to said friends. I wasn't going to, but it's difficult not to when I'm asked about my personal motivations behind the subject of my PhD. I felt safe enough to do it, though, they were cool about it and took it as part of my answer, instead of becoming fixated on it (though I'm always left wondering how much people really know about the B in LGBT, but I also don't want to make a big deal out of it).

It was a great day of leisure. I think it's the first one we've had like that, so nice and relaxed, so "for ourselves", since we returned from the UK. Hopefully today's just a taste of what's to come now that we'll be living in the city, and that our work situation is likely to improve, too.

Speaking of the UK, yesterday I found a washed-up receipt from the Co-op, our supermarket, in one of my jeans. Loss and nostalgia has started to slowly creep in, in the form of memories and feelings, and when I saw this piece of paper, I wept a bit. Christmas will be harder, because everything back in Sheffield was specially beautiful and shiny during the holidays, and I felt this deep warmth and cozyness inside me all the time.

Maybe we'll still manage to have some of that warmth and cozyness here, even though it's summer. Once we've moved into the apartment, we'll get some proper decoration, I hope. I hate Christmastime during summertime, but it is what it is.

I'm not looking forward to December the way I used to, but I I can't wait to leave this village.

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