Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Lessons I have Learned in London

  • 1.       I am ineligible to work for MI-5.
Though the lady seemed interested in me until I confessed I was not a UK citizen. I am also reasonably sure one of the MI-5 representatives was picked to entice potential employees because of his resemblance to Daniel Craig.
  • 2.       There is a good service running on all Underground lines, not a goods service.
That’s why I haven’t seen any tube trains loaded with mail or pallets of Coca-Cola.
  • 3.       A garret is specifically an attic, not any form of accommodation suited to French Bohemian poets.
See my Sydney posts. I learnt this fact at the Geffrye Museum, where they have living rooms set up for different eras from the 1630s up to the present day. It was funny to go through from the beginning, and then start to recognise styles from rooms you’ve known yourself (1870s: very flowery and overdressed, 1900: some colonial houses, 1930s: a bit like a traditional NZ bach).
  • 4.       Proper frozen stir-fry vegetables do not exist in the UK, or are at least hard to find.
I will have to buy real vegetables and cut them up. I guess it will be good for me...
  • 5.       Take an umbrella everywhere you go.
It’s nice not to be wet.
  • 6.       I do not like Mars Bar ice-creams.
  • 7.       If you want to get somewhere at a specific time, you are best on the tube. If you don’t care when you get somewhere or have semi-unlimited time, take the bus.
  • 8.       Books arrive in bookstores at much the same time as they do in New Zealand – at least, the ones I want aren’t there in the first few days after publication.
I had hoped that, seeing as I’m in a country where many books are printed, books might be on shelves on their publication dates. A futile dream, it seems, unless I want something like Harry Potter or Twilight.
  • 9.       Bank cards take an age to get.
First you get your address updated in the system (24 hours). Then you have an interview with a banking manager. Then you receive your card in the mail a few days later, and sign it. Then you receive your pin in the mail a few days after that. Then you shred all evidence of your pin. Then you change your pin, just to make sure. In NZ: go into bank. Get given card. Type in pin (twice). Sign card. Leave bank. (Experiences may differ from the above).
  • 10.   Escalators can be really, really long.
I went up and down the escalators in Angel tube station today. You get vertigo.

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