Raging (London and Landlords)

Sorry that it’s been over a month since I last wrote. I never like to force myself to write because then my posts seem more insincere and they don’t flow. I have to be in the right mindset and the right mood in order to let my ideas come naturally. And that mindset is finally here! For the first time in my life, I actually feel like I’m living it. I’m living each day as it comes. Every day is literally a new day, a new school, and essentially a new job. Nothing is ever the same. This is how I want to live my life. I don’t want to get sucked into the everyday routine that society gets sucked into: get up, go to work, come home, eat, watch tv, repeat. As a matter of fact, since I moved into my new flat, I’ve never once turned on the tv. Sure I watch my shows online, but I’m not wasting near as much time as I used to back in Canada. I go out more too! At least three times per week. Whether it’s by myself, with a friend, or with a group, there’s always something going on. And here, I’ve never once felt the annoyance of being ignored because someone was giving their phone more attention than they were giving me. Because here, when you go out with someone, you dedicate your full attention to them and only them.. not your phone, not your phone AND the person you’re with, only that person. And I hope things have changed back in Canada cause I swear if I go out with someone and they keep looking at their phone, I’ll likely get up and leave. Why? Because the impression I get from that action (whether that person means to or not) is that we haven’t seen each other for a year, but they can’t even set aside one hour to catch up. It’s always been one of my pet peeves and always will be, but I’m just glad I haven’t had to deal with it during the past year. I took some major steps this past month (for me personally), and I went to two events completely alone. I absolutely HATE putting myself into those types of situations. I’d rather sit at home and spend the evening alone than put myself in a social situation where I don’t know anyone. My anxiety gets the best of me and I feel so nervous and so outside of my comfort zone when I’m on my way there. I’m much more of a one-on-one type of person, and I really quiet down and retreat when there’s four or more people in a group, even if I’m good friends with all of them. But you know what? I ended up having a great time both times! I still won’t feel comfortable when I’ll have to do it again, but baby steps are all that matter. Ask me to move halfway across the world? Okay, I’ll buy my ticket! Ask me to go to a social event all by myself? Nope, I need you to come with me for moral support. 
Anyway, during the past month, I’ve gotten back into the groove of day-to-day supply work. I left that horrible school, and my mood has changed tremendously! Oh, and I also bought a gym membership (What?!). So I’ve been going to 5-7 classes each week (zumba, legs bums & tums, bikini body, boxercise, etc.). Maybe it’s had something to do with my mood as well, who knows. I’m skeptical… No, I don’t feel amazing after going to the gym. Or during it. Often times, I’m thinking about how much I hate my instructor. I don’t hate anyone, but my fitness instructor does a great job at making me hate every ounce of him. It’s gotten to the point that when he says, “Think about your bikini body,” I say out loud, “I don’t care anymore!” Cause in reality, we all know I’m going to go home and eat a pizza (Monday), a chocolate bar (Tuesday), a freakshake (Thursday), or any other goodies the world has to offer. I like food too much to sacrifice it to look good. A nice body lasts for a few days (without upkeep), food is there forever. My gym membership is now over since I only paid for a month and I’ll be coming home soon, so I’ll see if I get back into the groove in September. During the month, I basically went back and forth between two schools for the majority of my time. It was nice because I got to know the staff at one of the schools, and it was exam season so I didn’t have to do much. The cover work that teachers leave has gotten more and more lazy as the weeks go on. Last week, I watched the quarter-finals of Wimbledon, Bill Nye, and The Lion King, and I did at least 7 hours of silent reading. With the teachers who DO actually leave work, the kids just complain because they’ve already done their exams so what’s the point (and I can’t help but agree with them, even though I won’t say so out loud). The kids are getting worse than ever because they see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I’m not liking who I’m becoming around them. As the kids get more annoying, rude, and disrespectful, I get more impatient, sarcastic, and upfront with them. I’m definitely looking forward to the summer so I can recharge, and get my head sorted out again. The last day of school is Wednesday, July 20th but I decided to make this week my final week of work since I figured I wouldn’t get work during the last three days anyway. However, maybe I should have taken this week off as well since I’ve only gotten one and a half days of work (out of three days) so far. So today, I’m sittin’ pretty, doing nothing, as I’m still waiting for a phonecall. 
Outside of work, I’ve done quite a bit of events. My flatmate and I decided to take part in the Colour Run. For those of you who don’t know what it is, it’s a 5km “run,” where after each kilometre, you get a different colour of powder thrown on top of you so by the end, you look like a rainbow. I actually ran the first kilometre, but I swear it was more than a kilometre. As the 5 kilometres went on, every km seemed shorter and shorter. The last one was definitely NOT a kilometre. So the one I was running seemed to take forever, and I was just thinking, “Is this ever going to end?!” It was still quite fun! At the end, they had a big dance party and a bunch of other stuff going on. We got enough free Skittles to last us a month – they must have handed out at least 15-20 of those little packets to every person. For the next day or so, I was sneezing out multicoloured snot. Later that week, Kim and I went to Matilda: The Musical. It was so good, I was smiling the entire time! The following weekend, I met up with our family friend, Dave for dinner – who was in London for the fourth time and who I’ve visited with three times now since I’ve moved to London (hint hint, everyone else…). The day after, I went out for a friend’s birthday party. We were late for our dinner reservation and when we realized how far away we were from the restaurant, the four of us decided to hop on a rickshaw for 2.50 each, which was quite the experience! I’m sure we gave the biker a workout. We had dinner at an Italian restaurant, and then went out for drinks at a nearby club. The week after that, I went out for dinner with my flatmates for the first time since I moved in. It was nice being able to meet up as a group, since we usually only get to have a quick chat if we run into each other in the hallway or in the kitchen. Everyone’s so busy, so it was extremely difficult for us to find a time that worked for everyone! The day after that, I took my flatmate with me to go on the Canada Day Cruze. It was nice hearing so many people with the same accent as me, and meeting some Canadian people. They even had flip cup tournaments! The day

after that, I went to the Tristan & Isolde opera. It was my first time going to an opera so I didn’t really know what to expect, but I was definitely NOT expecting it to be 5 hours and 15 minutes long! I went at 3 pm and it had three acts, so there was a 45 minute intermission, as well as a 30 minute intermission (both included in the total 5 hour time). However, the seats in there were so weird.. the backs of the seats went straight up and then the part that you sat on was only about a foot long so you were required to sit up straight the entire time. By the third act, all I could think about was how much my butt hurt, because it was just like sitting on top of a bench. It was good, it wasn’t great, and it was definitely painful haha The next week, my flatmate (and gym partner) went back home to Italy and our new flatmate moved in. Everyone keeps leaving me, so I keep having to start all over! That day was Canada Day so I went to another event alone and met up with two girls from Winnipeg. I got to have perogies, but was deeply saddened when I decided to have poutine later that night and they were sold out. That weekend, I also had another photoshoot which was a lot of fun. The worst part is at the end when they try to get you to buy as many pictures as they can. As in 600 pounds for the whole shoot, or 150 pounds for 5 pictures. I caved and ended up spending 100 pounds (oops), but I love all of the pictures, so it was definitely worth it! This past weekend, I had my work party with all of the people at my agency. I once again went alone and ended up meeting some people in the queue, who I spent the entire night with. Later on, some of the people who I’ve worked with at different schools ended up showing up and joining us. It ended up being one of the best nights I’ve had in a long time, and I didn’t even have to spend any money! That was my last weekend in London and this is my last week, as I’m going on holiday in only three days!! This week has literally been the longest week every though.. Yesterday, I thought it was Friday and it was only Tuesday. I can’t wait until it’s all over! Tonight, I’m going

to the Guys & Dolls musical with Kim and her friend, and Rebel Wilson will be starring in it. I’m so excited to see her, as she’s one of my favourites!

I guess now I can share what happened with my landlords back when I moved away in March… So the landlords had taken two (refundable) fees from us at the beginning of our tenancy, which were to be used if we moved out before our contract was over and we didn’t find replacement tenants. So in my mind, they should have been able to give the fees back once they got our last month’s rent (since they said we didn’t have to find tenants because they were redecorating). I figured I would cancel my last month’s rent and say they could just keep the fees and I would pay the difference. However, they said they needed the last month’s rent or they could take me to court. Making sure I did everything right in case I needed to take THEM to court, I gave in and paid my last month’s rent, but then they said that they couldn’t give back the fees until I checked out and they could see that everything was in working order. Which was not okay because 1) I needed those fees to pay the deposit on my new place, and 2) they were essentially using the fees as a deposit, but legally shouldn’t have been able to because all deposits HAVE to be protected by the government, which they of course didn’t do. I was convinced that due to the amount of mail we got (belonging to over 30 names) and the fact that they kicked us out after 6 months, they just kept everyone’s fees and that’s how they made more money off of everyone. I was nervous, I was upset, and I was completely ready to take them to court if need be. However, Jess had a different idea. She thought that by the time we got a court date, she’d already be moved back to Canada so she figured she’d take the tv. This somewhat worked because the tv wasn’t included in the inventory since they bought it after we moved in, so it technically couldn’t be proven that it was there in the first place. She said that she’d pay me back for the amount that they deduct from my fees and we looked up the tv online and saw it was 200 pounds, which she was okay with. I wanted nothing to do with the taking of the tv, as I was very apprehensive about it and was still totally willing to take them to court if I needed to. However, Jess went through with it, so when the agent came to look at the flat during our checkout, I was extremely nervous. At the end, he brought up that the tv wasn’t there and I nearly lost it, looking straight at Jess. “Well it wasn’t there when we got home last week.” “What do you mean?” “We went on holiday last week and you guys entered our flat again without permission (which was true – for the second time!), so we just thought you took it since our tenancy was almost over.” I was shocked. All that was going through my mind was, “How is she coming up with this?? I even believe her…” He asked why we didn’t call the police and that we should have contacted the office, and we’re going to need to give statements to the police. At this point, I nearly cracked and told them everything – it took a lot to keep my mouth shut! Anyway, he said he’d have to talk to the office to see how much they would charge us. We were quite surprised when we actually got part of our deposit back (as we weren’t expecting anything), but they deducted 300 pounds – 150 each. Apparently the tv thing seemed to work, because the people downstairs got emails saying that they wouldn’t be getting any of their deposits back. However, that quickly changed when they presented the agency with official court papers (Wow! Exactly what I wanted to do! Imagine that…) I asked the agency for a receipt of the tv since I knew there was absolutely no way it was 300 pounds. I also explained that they technically shouldn’t have been able to take our fee money and should have returned all of our fees, and then charged us for the tv in a separate transaction. 10 days went by and then they finally sent me a receipt for a purchase that was made a few days earlier, for a smart tv of a different brand (we didn’t even HAVE a smart tv), and it was 270 pounds. They then explained that the cost of installation/administration was 30 pounds (seriously?). I then wrote back and said I wanted a receipt for the tv that was in our flat, as we were paying for THAT tv, and not the replacement. I threatened to take them to court because it took them two weeks to send me a random receipt, and they should be able to send a receipt from six months ago in a shorter amount of time. They THEN sent me another receipt for ANOTHER smart tv which was again, not even the same brand, and was also dated a couple weeks AFTER we got our actual tv. However this time, it cost 320 pounds. And then they had the NERVE to say, “Please find in attachment the receipt of the TV that was purchased for your property 6 month back. We quoted you the price of the TV that was recently purchased as a replacement. However, you wish to pay the price of the first TV. So, kindly check the invoice and make the payment of difference into our account. Please do send us the proof of payment via email.” I was livid. So I replied, “This is getting ridiculous… We got the tv BEFORE September 30th. On top of that, it wasn’t a hitachi tv (we have photos to prove it from when we were in our flat). It wasn’t 48 inches (but haha, very funny). AND it wasn’t a smart tv. This is the reason why we’re taking you to court. If you can’t provide the PROPER RECEIPT, then please return the fees or we will settle this through court. Please remember that the fact that you didn’t put the deposits in a protection scheme will be put into account and you will be liable to pay up to three times both our deposits. Also, you’re not part of a redress scheme. And you’ve entered our property at least twice without our permission. In my opinion, this won’t look good for you in court. “ I then sent them an official letter saying that I would be taking them to court by the end of the month, and they had two weeks to send a receipt. They replied saying, “Thank you for letter regarding non-refundable finder’s fees that were wrongly paid out to you.  Along with references fees they are non-refundable & are not deposits. We ask again that these finder’s fees are returned urgently to us in the next 7 days.” Essentially asking for ALL of our fees to be paid back, cause they “made a mistake.” I once again warned them that they had one week left until they’d be getting their court papers (again, this was all a bluff in hopes that I would scare them into giving our money back). They then sent ME an “official” court letter, which was filled with even more lies: “We thank you for your recent communication and note two TVs were taken when you left. We have supplied you with the brand new TV’s receipts and you have refused all attempts at finding them or even talking about them. Furthermore, you personally, on oath signed an AST contract and personally, verbally, agreed all the relevant conditions regarding the non-refundable finders fee. It may be in part our fault as we believed what you personally told us regarding getting new tenants. So trusting in your word was partly our fault but we have always been honest and acted with integrity which we realize was maybe a mistake in your case. We must insist you return the monies to us and compensate us for the two missing TVs. We sincerely hope you cooperate with our numerous requests.” This letter was not only sent to me, but also to my mom who had signed the contract on my behalf since I wasn’t yet a UK resident. Anyway, I asked for photo proof of the two tvs and never received a reply, and that was that. End of story. Obviously I didn’t take them to court because there was the complication of the tv and I had no way of knowing what the outcome would be (In the UK, the loser has to pay for everyone’s court costs) so I didn’t want to risk it. A few weeks ago, I stopped by the flat to see if there was any mail and I asked the tenant what she thought about the landlords. However, these landlords had a different name. So they either a) sold the flat (which I doubt) or b) changed their name. The reason for this is because technically, you can’t take an agency to court if they no longer exist (I read up on this before), so I must have scared them when I sent them the letter. I had told Jess that she could pay me back whenever she had the money and there was no rush, so she paid me back little by little throughout the next couple of months. After we went to Birmingham for the weekend, she owed me more money since I lent her some for the trip. She paid me back for that, and then I just confirmed how much more she owed me for the tv. To which she replied that she only owed me about 3.50 because she didn’t think she should have to pay me their made up 30 pound fee… I replied that we wouldn’t have been charged at all if the tv wasn’t taken in the first place, and I’m not paying part of the 300 for nothing. Her thought process was, “Of they were a normal organization, which they weren’t. Then they would have given it all back and I would have given the tv back. Which they didn’t do that. I agreed to pay for the t.v. and not the random charges they Do. We’re lucky to have gotten anything. So sorry I’m not paying you because they are idiots , not my responsibility.” I replied, “But, they charged us 300 pounds for the tv period. The breakdown of that 300 is something you’ll have to figure out with them. Regardless, the tv ended up costing us 300, whether or not they provide proof of it.” She said, “The tv was taken as collateral , they should have paid us back the full amount but they didn’t. They could have paid us nothing because they are terrible. You can continue to argue with me about £30 but I’m not that one that owes that to you, it is them.” And then she said the thing that I’ll never be able to forget, and I’ll likely never be able to forgive her for: “And we never would have been in this mess if we never would have rented from them.” Seriously? So this whole thing is my fault? She continued: “They Cabot provide you with proof of how much the tv costs and I have given you 120 for it, plus 150 from my own pocket, I could have gotten a new t.v. for 270 no problem but I took it so we could have a bargaining chip , why the duck would I want to pay that much for something I wasn’t keeping” “Yeah but we always had the option of taking them to court if we didn’t get our money back and I was fully prepared to do that.” She replied: “I just expressed how I have NO money and you bring that up again, not a good time. You’re so good with money you don’t understand what it’s like for me and having you bring it up again and again.” (Sorry I’m good with money? Still no excuse…) I replied: “I wasn’t saying you had to pay it back asap, I was just double-checking that it’s what was owed. And I realize that, and that’s why I haven’t been constantly asking you for it and letting you pay it on your own time.” And that was the end of that conversation. By that point, I really had no interest in seeing Jess for the last three weeks before she went back home. However, we had already bought tickets to a musical and to the Forbidden Nights show, so I couldn’t exactly back out. The last straw was two weeks later, about a week before she went back to Canada, when she transferred 2.50 into my account, which was like a slap in the face. Looking back on everything, not once did I get any appreciation or a thank you for searching for a place. Every place I found, there was something wrong with it in Jess’ opinion, even though she was all the way in Canada. And when we finally moved in? She cried about how she didn’t want to live there and she was going to move out, while her sister comforted her and I sat there feeling absolutely horrible. Even though I had spent the last three weeks living in hostels, travelling all around London, setting up appointments that took about three hours each when travel time was included in the picture, trying to find the perfect place for someone who has an opinion about everything. And I’m not trying to bad-mouth Jess or anything, but I think that was when I finally realised that I wasn’t appreciated, our friendship wasn’t appreciated, and it was solely because I was going through the same experience as she was that we had anything to do with each other. Which is a shame, but I honestly don’t feel like we would ever meet up in Canada to reminisce about old times in London. Needless to say, she left on somewhat of a sour note. We didn’t spend much time together except for those two events and we didn’t say goodbye to each other or anything. I really fought with whether or not I should post this or not, but writing is a way to express myself and let out all of the things that I’ve been thinking or feeling. Writing about this has resurfaced all of those emotions that I was feeling months ago and while I know arguments should be kept between the people who are having them, I know this argument will never be resolved and therefore I need an outlet. I do think the whole landlord experience made my life a living hell, and was a huge life lesson. And now I know to tread lightly when it comes to trusting landlords and acquaintances.
I’ve been getting really annoyed with Facebook and all of the posts I’ve been seeing across my newsfeed. Most posts are completely irrelevant with anything that’s going on with anyones’ lives, and a lot of posts I see are just plain offensive, demeaning, and rude. I miss the days when Facebook didn’t have a like button or a share button, when it forced your status to start with “’So-and-so’ is…” and you had to finish the sentence with what you were doing. And while maybe we overshared what we were doing (‘Janelle is going to the grocery store.’), it was a way to keep updated with what friends were up to. Now I go on my news feed and all I see are mostly videos (of no one that I actually know – just videos that people thought were funny and thought they should share with their 500+ friends), stuff about the latest crazes (Pokemon Go, #alllivesmatter, etc.), and random motivational quotes by my single friends who are convincing the world that they are strong, independent women. The reason why I have Facebook is to keep up with peoples’ lives and to keep people up with my life, especially while I’m halfway across the world (and I scroll through my newsfeed every morning to see what everyone’s been up to) but I seldom see those things. There are hardly anymore photos, status updates (that aren’t just opinions about what’s happening in the world), and what the heck happened to wall posts – does anyone write on anyone else’s wall anymore?? Like an actual message, not share a picture or a video… I feel like most people are spending time sharing and not seeing what other people have to say. People write back when it’s convenient for them. I know in this generation, we’re used to being able to send a message and receive a reply within an hour. But there’s a difference between being too busy to write back, and selectively choosing who and when to write back. Like when I write a friend and see that they’ve read my message, but just don’t write back. Or even worse, when I wait for a reply and then I see that my friend comes online and likes a few things on Facebook and/or writes a few comments on posts, but my message remains unopened. They always say that a friend will spend time with you when they have time, but a real friend will MAKE time for you. And I don’t know if it’s just me, but I feel like any time this happens to me, that person is subtly sending me the message that I don’t matter as much as whatever else is going on in their lives – and when that thing in their life is just liking and commenting on things on Facebook, my respect for that person decreases little by little. I feel like I’ve always been faced with that kind of issue. When I’m in a relationship with someone (no matter what kind of relationship), I put in my all. Even when I was going to university and working three jobs, if one of my friends needed a night out, I would always find a way to make it happen. Maybe no one saw it from the outside (cause of course I’m not going to be like, “Do you know how much harder I worked so I could have a couple of free hours with you?”), but I remember multiple times when I would study my butt off and work on assignments during every waking hour during the week, just so I could have a free evening on the weekend if I knew a friend had an event or was visiting. When I was younger, I remember exchanging emails or letters with my best friends and writing pages and pages, and some friends would write back with just a short paragraph or not write back at all. I would always feel disappointed and funnily enough, I remember writing even more in return, hoping that they’d get the hint and try harder next time. I remember constantly being forgotten about when friends went into new relationships and then suddenly being remembered again when that relationship ended. I’ve been hurt again and again by friends (not intentionally), by getting the feeling that I wasn’t important. And who knows, maybe that was one of the underlying reasons I ended up moving to France when I was 18, because deep down inside, I wanted to feel important. I wanted people to say that they missed me. But it’s funny how that changes too… Back when we were in high school and someone would go on a week-long vacation, EVERYONE would be at the airport to greet them when they came home. When I went to Quebec for 5 weeks, I talked to my friends on the phone and Skyped with them constantly. In France, I organized my schedule (which was 8 hours ahead of everyone else), so I could chat with my friends on Facebook every morning. I only remember my family being at the airport when I got back from France. And when I went on my 3 month backpacking trip? I remember writing a status asking if anyone wanted to pick me up from the airport and when I arrived, no one was there. I had to take a taxi home. Here in London, there are a few people at home who I talk to multiple times a week, some I walk to biweekly or monthly, and some I probably haven’t talked to at all. Does it mean I care less, or have stopped thinking of these people? Of course not… memories and thoughts of people go through my head every single day. But am I becoming too accustomed to letting social media update me on everyone’s lives instead of talking to them myself? Probably. I don’t really know where I’m going with this.. I think I just let my mind wander and now I don’t even remember what point I was trying to get across. I guess the point is that we need to start making more time for people. And not because we ‘have’ to, but because we want to. We have to stop relying on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, or Twitter to keep us updated on everyone’s live. Maybe once in awhile, we should start writing each other a “Hey, it’s been awhile, what have you been up to?” message. We have to stop being in the mentality that, “Well, I don’t ask people to hang out – they need to ask me if they want to hang out.” I’m very guilty of this and I know it has something to do with the possibility of being turned down, but that shouldn’t be an excuse. As I’ve been spending my time in London, it’s finally hit me that we only have one life to live. This isn’t a guess and check. This isn’t a, “I’ll try this out and see what works and what doesn’t work, and then I’ll change it the next time around.” No. This is a one-time thing. I’ve been looking at my life and I’m so happy with the way I’ve decided to live it. I’ve taken so many opportunities, seen so much, done so much. I could have taken a teaching job in Canada and got into the repetitive lesson-planning,-marking,-watch-tv,-have-no-time-for-anyone lifestyle. But I didn’t. The point is when I’m older, I want to be able to look back on my life (like I can now) and be proud of how I lived it. I don’t want to look back and think, “What did I even do? All I did was watched tv marathons every night, played candy crush during my spare time, and didn’t take time out of my schedule to spend with the people I care about.” We’ve all done it. We’ve all said, “Sorry, I’m really busy this week so maybe we can meet up another time,” and we all KNOW that we spent many hours of our “precious time” scanning Facebook, watching tv, among other pointless things when in reality we could have used that time to spend with that person. It’s time to stop the cycle. Because it’s only going to get worse for the upcoming generations.
I wrote different parts of my blog at different times and they all seemed so random and I was wondering how I was going to fit them all together. However, upon closer inspection, I realize that everything I write in this post is about feeling unappreciated, unvalued or ignored, whether it’s by students, random people, or friends. Maybe that’s why I’ve learned to only count on myself to be happy. I don’t even trust people when they say they’ll meet up for coffee later in the week anymore. My expectations are forever low, because I’d rather be pleasantly surprised than forever disappointed. I also wonder if this is why I haven’t taken the leap to be in a relationship, because depending on someone else with the possibility of being let down scares the crap out of me. I’m not blaming anyone but myself, but I do think it’s quite sad that it’s come to that. Anyway, I AM excited to come home in less than three weeks and I do intend to use every minute of that time wisely! Love always

 

Raging – Kygo, Kodaline