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Posted by Sweets under Random

I’ve finally finished getting all my photos up into the gallery.. Go look!

The Bank Saga

Posted by Sweets under Foreign Saga

So, my first Monday in town we decided to get all practical and go get me a SIM card for my phone, and open a bank account.

We’ve picked a bank, after asking around and seeing who gets recommended and see a branch while out on our travels so decide to pop in there.

We get in to the bank and there is no one around. One guy sat at the desk and that is it, everyone else is in some meeting. So we sit, and we wait.. and wait. Eventually someone comes out and he assures us he’s going to get everything sorted.

“So, what’s your social security number?”

“I don’t have one”

“Oh.. well, umm, I don’t think I can do this”

But he decides he can, and uses my passport to make sure he has my name right. He takes my Mum’s address as my English base and my address for here, and takes a username and email address for the internet banking.

The bank is closing by the time we’re finishing up, and I’m getting the impression that I’m being shorted here, he’s not giving me everything, but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt, I am the one here with no experience of the American banking system.

We give it a week, and no email has come through with my internet banking details. Then to top it off, my first statements come through, and my name has been spelt wrong.. He had my passport in front of him and he’s spelt it wrong!

I attempt to ring the bank, the helpline number you need a PIN to use.. well, I don’t have that yet! So DmentD comes and picks me up one lunchtime and we pop in. We explain what’s happened and the woman on the counter happily changes my name, applies for a new card and checks the internet banking set up…

He hadn’t set the internet banking up!

We give it a while longer, a bank card has yet to show, and still no email for the internet banking!

So we go back again. This time waiting to see a Rep rather than just someone on the counter. She appears and after the usual rigmarole over my name (a rarity over here) and my not being native we sit down and explain the situation.

She pulls out some papers, that I have never seen before, and asks if I’ve signed them.. umm no! Turns out, the guy at the start hadn’t gotten me to sign this rather crucial form saying I was a foreign citizen. Without that or a social security number nothing else was going through!

She was wonderfully helpful and we didn’t leave until we had the papers with my username and password for the internet banking on. Getting home soon after and finding it working.  I’m still waiting for the card, but that still has a week or so to turn up.

I liked this woman so much I made her cookies (with a card attached.. not touting for business.. much)! And have decided that she is the only person I will deal with at that bank

Welcome to the World

Posted by Sweets under Cooking, School

I made it, I am here!

I’ve been here 3 weeks now, and it feels like longer.. In a good way! We slipped into a routine amazingly easily and smoothly after the first week of ‘holiday’. I have the house to myself in the morning, to do stuff that needs doing (like making butterscotch fudge to frost a cake, or cookies to give to my wonderful bank manager! Or less fun stuff like ironing) and leave about 2 to go to the bus.

I think the walk to the bus everyday is helping me to acclimatise to the heat and dryness out here, and then I get an hour and a half sat on the bus. Now I know the route I’ll probably start taking a book or mp3 player to keep me entertained.

I arrive at school early so have taken to sitting in the library and reading for a while, a book or my course book depending on what I’ve got that day.

Finishing school about half 10 I get picked up by DmentD and we get home around 11 to have a short while to relax together before bedtime comes round and a new day starts all over!

I am loving school! The first few days were not so fun, health and safety and knife skills. But I passed the ServSafe exam with flying colours so I don’t need to worry about it for another 5 years (1 if I end up back in the UK as my English one will have expired by then). Since then we’ve been cooking everyday. The class starts with a demo mixed with theory and then we make whatever was demonstrated, either in pairs or on our own.

The first unit is only a week away from being finished with is somewhat scary, we had the first theory and practical exams fir it this past Thursday and I did much better than I thought I did, an amazing 353 out of 360 combined, lets hope I can keep it up. The theory wasn’t too bad, the practical we had to make chocolate chip cookies, buttermilk biscuits and almond macaroons. The macaroons took me three attempts to get them to a state I was remotely happy with (after making them perfectly first attempt in class) but my Chef thought they were good, just a little undermixed.

Now to keep you entertained until I update again (or update the gallery.. that’s going to take some time to get everything up there and sorted) here’s some pictures of what I’ve made at school

Almond MacaroonsAlmond MacaroonsApple PieButtermilk BiscuitsCheckerboard (Brysselkex) CookiesFruit TartOatmeal and Raisin SconesPate au ChouxQuiche Lorraine