Well, things are looking pretty doggone good at the moment! *looks up to make sure no piano is about to fall on her head*
But I feel exhausted because it has been quite the roller coaster today. It's like the up-down visa game all over again.
Up: I heard there might be double studios available in the residence halls.
Down: I was told there were no rooms and applications were no longer being accepted.
Up: I called, and was offered a double studio! No more sad Charlie Brown music! I went to go see it. The woman seemed sorry about the fact that the window of the room faced a cement wall. She clearly didn't know how desperate/eager I was to live there. She said that I would have first priority for a room change. Sounds good to me! She also said that the reason I was allowed a studio at all, the reason I was allowed to "queue jump" in front of all the waiting list applicants, was because my school had such a small allocation of rooms. I easily decided I wanted it, and left to get cash for the (exorbitant) deposit. I was told I had to make the deposit by 4pm (it was 1pm).
Down: At the cash machine, I was informed I couldn't withdraw the full amount for the deposit (granted, it was a lot of money). I tried to call my credit union with a phone card. It was only six o'clock in the morning there, so no one answered. The phone booth smelled like excrement. Back at the bank, I took out as much as possible, but for two and a half hours, I was in panic-mode. I had no idea what I could do! Call Pops? What could he do before 4pm London time? Borrow money from a classmate? No, it was way too much money. All I could do was go back and beg the woman to take what I had.
So I went back and told her I had a problem, that I wasn't able to withdraw all the cash. It was only then, after 2.5 hours of me panicking, running around north-central London like a crazed woman, whining to classmates about the injustice of it all, looking over my shoulder constantly to be sure no one was trying to steal the 400GBP cash I was carrying, only then did she inform me that they have the capacity to take cards.
I could have paid up front at the very beginning, without even going to a cash machine! I could have made it to the international students' picnic in the park! I could have relaxed all afternoon, knowing that I had a bed to sleep in and an address to ship my stuff to! I could have gone to the zoo with the other Karen and Sharon, the gorgeous Irish girl with the gorgeous accent! (Other Karen is also gorgeous, to be fair.)
Oh, well, all's well that ends well. I am now enjoying a very rare moment of having nothing to worry about. All is right with the world...for the moment. I seriously feel so relieved. I feel like several weeks' worth of worry have all melted away, though not without leaving me feeling like I need a rest.
And the woman just called to tell me that if I wait until Wednesday to move in, I can get a better room that doesn't face a cement wall. My youth hostel booking is up to Tuesday, so I'll just extend it a day. I'm going to go ahead and give all of you credit for helping this all work out. You're beautiful, beautiful people and I love you all!