While in general flats that advertise themselves as being “fully furnished” in the UK really DO come with just about everything you would need to live in a place, they don’t necessarily come with everything you may want (especially if you’re a postgrad with just disgusting amounts of books and supplies that need resting places!).
So, I took a load down to the new place and after lying down for a few minutes to recover my strength (it was a load of books, after all), I set off in search of a few sundry items that I thought could really come in handy. Specifically I needed a dish drying rack, a couch cover, a table cloth, a small bookcase for my DVDs and what not, and a set of plastic drawers since my “desk” is really just a big white table. I set off down Dumbarton Road (see map) to see what was nearby, in a vague hope that I wouldn’t have to hoof it all the way back up Byres Road past my old flat to hit the Woolworths and what not in that area. While I was walking, I really did discover a whole new Glasgow!
Byres Road is unlike pretty much every single other part of Glasgow. For one thing it appears to be the very heart of the West End, an area known to be rather trendy and rich in the first place. The street itself is very wide (though still always busy), and the shops are spacious and, let’s just say it, American. There’s a Woolworths, Safeway, Starbucks, Subway (as in the sandwich shop), and KFC. Not that I’m complaining. I couldn’t live without a Raspberry Frapuccino every once in a while, but it’s still a street that if you squint and are careful not to walk into the road (at least not without looking both ways first, Martha!), you could almost convince yourself you’re somewhere on the east coast or something.
But then you get down into other areas, like I did today. You have to understand that my world was pretty much limited to Byres Road and the City Centre (which I usually took the subway to get to). I’ve hardly seen a LOT of Glasgow. Anyway, so Dumbarton Road is so cool and need I say different in almost every way. It’s much narrower for starters. There are still some familiar shops like Woolworths (which is one of the places I needed to go), but there are also out of this world shops that simply must be a hold over from the late 60s or something. I especially like the fact that on one street within three hundred yards I passed no fewer than four different tanning salons. I guess news of skin cancer hasn’t reached the people of fair Glasgow yet.
Long story (relatively) short, I did finally find almost everything I needed. It took a lot of wandering and a certain amount of bad directions, but I found myself a Comet (for electronics) a Woolworths (for a bit of everything), an Argos (for a bit of everything else), an OK furniture store for a new (and actually comfortable) desk chair, as well as a Safeway which is much cheaper than the Byres Road version, and also a Sainsbury’s which is also a supermarket. I also found a McDonald’s which I somehow managed to avoid visiting, I have no idea how . . . it smelled SO good!
So I spent a lot of money today, and my poor feet are exceedingly upset at me. Oh, and I apparently agreed to host a Cinco de Mayo celebration at my new place. Why am I so lucky? Because margaritas are really expensive in the bars here and I’m apparently the only one with a blender. At least we’ll get to christen the new place!
“Headaches and heartaches will end, bring me aspirin my friends.
What I need is some laughs to get me back on the road.
Then Iâ€™m back on the mend, back in the saddle again, and Iâ€™m the winner of the barstool rodeo.
Now I donâ€™t get sore, I donâ€™t cry anymore, Iâ€™ve seen the barroom floor a time or two before.
I know Iâ€™m gonna pull through, Iâ€™m just a little hung over you.”
~Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers – “A Little Hung Over You” — Arizona Band!