By the end of work today I had fifteen tabs open in Google chrome, three word documents, one excel file, and three audacity projects open all at once. The three of us interns have more or less settled into the groove of the work day now.
After work we had to attend an orientation put on by BUNAC, the company that sponsored our work visas for the UK. It seemed pretty pointless to have an orientation from them especially at this point when we’ve already been here for over two weeks. I did however appreciate how it brought me back to that new-to-England mindset and gave some perspective as to how much I’ve learned about life in London in just a matter of two weeks.
That also brings me to another question that I’ve been thinking about lately. How long do you have to stay in a city before you cross over from just ‘visiting’ it to actually ‘living in it’?
Recently I’ve started to think that London doesn’t feel quite so different from home anymore. Obviously it is very different, but I also feel like I’ve settled in so much at this point that I already have certain habits based around living here. I have a route that I can walk to work without looking at a map, I have a few favorite running spots, and being on the tube feels more like a commute than an adventure.
I have mixed feelings about this. It’s good to feel like I know my way around a city as big as London, but it also takes away some of the excitement. Although the part that I do know my way around is still only a very small portion of the entire city. There’s still a lot that I haven’t seen so hopefully I can get lost in a new part of the city. It’s not so bad getting lost so long as I don’t lose anything else.
After the BUNAC orientation we had a group dinner with Jeff at a Spanish restaurant. We had plates and plates and plates of tapas. I ate as much as I could handle. I haven’t been this full the whole time I’ve been here.
On the way back Charlie and I were separated from the rest of the group and ended up on a different train back. There were a group of French girls who sat next to us and started laughing uncontrollably and chatting in French. Their laughter was contagious and I almost couldn’t stop myself from laughing too. I just assumed that they were probably laughing at us, but thought if they saw me smiling maybe they’d think I understood what they were saying. Probably not though.
At the second to last stop there was suddenly a loud commotion and lots of shouting in the subway car behind us. A glance through the conjoining window revealed a guy with blood dripping all down his face. From what I could hear, two men and a woman stepped out of the car after there there had been some kind of altercation. The yelling continued for several minutes. One of the guys kept yelling, “He smashed me for no reason! He smashed me!” Then the woman would yell for them to stop.
This whole time the train didn’t leave. I think the driver was trying to do something about it, but I couldn’t see any of what was happening. Eventually it was announced that our car wasn’t operating any longer and we had to exit and wait for the next one.
We finally got back at almost 11 pm. Just in time for me to write this blog post and go to sleep.
I also stopped at the reception desk back at Regent’s and picked up my new Oyster card. No more walking to work tomorrow.