Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I'm beginning to grow more accustomed to life in Shawlands now and in fact, I've actually grown (somewhat) fond of the surrounding areas. From the Farmer's Market in Queen's Park, to the posh cafes on Nithsdale Road (which I have yet to actually eat in but have wandered around them), to Tapa Coffeehouse on Pollokshaws Road, to the stunning Alexander "Greek" Thomson buildings on Moray Place. It ain't all bad 'round these parts. I still maintain that I am a west end girl though - much to the annoyance of my boyfriend.

One of the best aspects of living in Shawlands is that a lot of my friends (well, ok, four) live in close proximity to me. This was taken full advantage of during the Christmas / Hogmanay holidays, when a bunch of us went over to Robert and Tim's flat on New Year's Day for the Scottish tradition of first footing. We watched Flight of the Conchords and ended up playing charades until well past 4.00am - totally sober too (well, most of us were anyway).

You know you're friends are awesome when they guess, "I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)" in ten seconds flat during a marathon session of charades. Highlights of the evening included, "ass pepper", "Deep Throat", "Sex on Fire" and "Trannyformers (instead of Transformers).

So, life isn't too bad on the Southside; I even plan on getting a bike through the progressive Cycle to Work Scheme in order to get from the Southside to my work. Of course, there has to be a downside, right?

For me, that would be awkwardly spotting a guy I once went on a shambolic date with at my bus stop. Remember that date I had with a cute Scottish dude, back in November 2006, and I showed up drunk and proceeded to denounce him as a "player"? Yeah, that guy. Well, besides being right about him, he also uses my bus stop. Being the cold and distant (not to mention embarrassed) Canadian that I am, I ignore his existence entirely and silently suffer in shame.


Christian Muise said...

Hey Jennifer,
I came across your blog because I've ended up in similar circumstances - heading from the Toronto life to the great land of Glasgow. I'm headed there with my gf for the summer months (May-Aug) and have been set up with the University, but her position isn't so solid.

I was just curious if you had any advice on what sort of visa arrangement we should investigate for her situation - likely won't have a job lined up before hand, but would like to work legally once over there (for the 4 months). Any tips would be great.

Thanks. Cheers.

PS. It was your old post "Glasgow on the Cheap" that came up on Google - can't wait to check out King Tut's Wah Wah Hut.

David T. Macknet said...

Why must there be shame? Pretend not to know the dude and you'll be fine - "I'm sorry, you're who? No, don't remember you. You seriously think we dated? Umm ... you're not my type."

Jennifer said...

Haz - If your girlfriend has a grandparent born in the UK, your best bet is to go via the ancestry visa route, which I did. It's probably the easiest (apart from saving funds in order to prove you can support yourself when you first land on these shores).

Also, check out my post about visas and stuff: http://idreamofhaggis.blogspot.com/2008/03/part-2-how-to-move-to-scotland.html

Davimack - There is shame because I showed up drunk to the date and then proceeded to denounce him as a "player" who just wanted a shag. I may have been right about him, but my god, what a crazy drunk beast I came off as !!!

Christian Muise said...

Nice call on the grandparent option - I think we may be in luck.

Thanks for all the help. Cheers

Christina said...

One of the unexpected pleasures of living in a new country is NOT running into former boyfriends/shags. Sorry you've already built up some here!

Jennifer said...

lol sorry had to laugh about the ex spotting. Especially in a big city!!

Christian Muise said...

Last question (promise):

If you were moving to Toronto, good advice would be to use Craigslist and not look for a place near Jane & Finch.

If you were moving to Glasgow, good advice would be to use ______ and not look for a place near ______?

Everything on craigslist seems to be too absurdly cheap to be real (110 pounds for a 2bdrm).


Jennifer said...

Haz - don't worry about the questions, it's ok.

If you were moving to Glasgow, the best place to look online for a flat would be: S1 Rentals (http://www.s1rental.com/)

The reason why it might be so cheap is because sometimes people advertise WEEKLY rent (to confuse us immigrants). So it looks like £110 pwc rather than £440 pmc (weekly versus monthly).

There are lots of places to avoid, too many to list, so look for places to live in these areas: West end, Hillhead, Hyndland, north kelvinside, Kelvingrove, and Kelvinbridge (they are all close to Glasgow Uni) and therefore, more expensive than say...somewhere on the Southside such as Shawlands (where I live and it's nice too).

Other places to consider: Georges Cross, Charing Cross, City Centre, Merchant City and Shawlands (these will be cheaper and central).

Hope that helps and if there is something else you need help with, just leave a comment!

Melaina25 said...

I had no idea there was a Tapa on the southside. I live a block from the original Tapa in Dennistoun.

You are very west end biased! It makes sense to live there if you got to Glasgow Uni, but if you are going to Caley or Strathclyde I'd recommend Dennistoun for cost effectiveness and proximity.

Anonymous said...

Wee Shawlands fact. There is a pub called the Georgic opposite that building which didn't actually have a woman's toilet till 5 years ago.

Still the prices are 1968 too.

Jennifer said...

Phil - I have yet to venture to any pub in Shawlands but perhaps this will be my first stop? I hear they have a juke box?

Melaina - you're right. I am totally west end biased. It's where I have always lived and always preferred - much to the annoyance of my weegie boyfriend. Dennistoun is an up and coming area and scores points for: being closer to (a) the barras and (b) Celtic Park....

Anonymous said...

Yes...it has music from the hit parade of 1968 also.

Never seen a woman in there without facial hair and tatoos so look out.

lenbot said...

I too recently moved to Shawlands after eight years in the west end! It was a hard transition but I must admit I've settled right into south side life. Between Stalks and Stems, Beveridges the fishmongers, Biscuit, Deli 1901, the Bier Stube and everything in between, I'm loving it. I do venture to the west again for old times sake from time to time though!!