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The long road home

Leaving London

UNITED KINGDOM | Tuesday, 4 December 2007 | Views [570]

St Pauls Cathedral

St Pauls Cathedral

For the second time in three years I am officially homeless and (as of tomorrow 5pm,) unemployed as well!  We are staying with some friends in St Johns Wood – Abbey Road actually – I should find that pedestrian crossing the Beatles made famous – and we’ve managed to condense our stuff down to our packs and a few boxes/suitcases.  Given that we arrived 2.5 years ago with 20 kg’s each, we seem to have accumulated a lot of “stuff”.

My current work-wardrobe has entered the “twighlight zone” of “things that are about to be thrown out” so I’m looking rather tramp-ish when I hit the tube in the morning.  Yes, for my last two days of work I am being a “real” Londener and taking the tube to work, until now I have always walked to work.  I reckon if I had to do this tube thing everyday I would have quite London a long time ago.  The actual journey itself is only about 10 stops, but it’s the lining up to get through the ticket barriers, lining up to get down the stairs, lining up to get on the train etc that drives me nuts.  I am proud now though that I have perfected my “grumpy look” whilst reading the newspaper and also my ability to avoid eye-contact and nose-to-arm-pit encounters (an unfortunate consequence of being my height).  

I have also perfected my “crossing the road in China” tactic for getting through crowded places.  I adopted this tactic when in China and its proved to be quite valuable in London.  The key to successfully crossing a crowded London Bridge station at 8.45am is not to make eye-contact.  This is also the same when crossing a road in China.  The second they know that you have seen them, they won’t stop, you will have to stop.  But if you put your head down and charge through you will be amazed how everyone gets out of your way.

I have managed to wangle a ticket to our Christmas function 36 hours before we leave.  The Christmas parties are the best thing about London in December, on any given night of the week you will see loads of men in Black-tie and women in dresses not suited to the current climate (and heels that don’t work well on the cobblestone in London).  There is a huge industry in the Christmas Party, I think EY host the same Christmas party (at the Tower of London) 6 times over 2 weeks to allow the entire London firm to attend.

So that’s our last few days in London, I will be sad to leave London, I have really enjoyed living on the Monopoly Board and while I still feel like I have lots of unfinished thing here I do feel like I was no longer taking advantage of all London has to offer and that it was time to move on.

So, Saturday, first stop Cairo…..  stay tuned.

Tags: The Planning Phase

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