Long time to type…
I’m in London at the moment, as many of you know. As part of my course requirement, I am completing a two-week work placement at YOGA Magazine. The work placement is going well, a lot smoother than settling down in London.
The placement was confirmed with six days to spare—six days to book transport, accommodation and sort my life out. By the weekend I had my transport and a possible place to sleep. When that fell through I had a panic attack. I spent two days searching the internet and calling random people who had advertised a room spare. With little hope I packed up with the intent of finding a local hostel. Just as I was leaving a woman whom I had emailed previously returned my call and offered me a room for £80/week. YAY! The problem was 1) it’s London, a spare room has about a 2 ½ hour shelf life 2) no one was interested in a two week tenant.
I hopped the bus with directions to my new found home in pocket and made the most of the miserable 4 1/2 journey. Upon arrival I attempt to locate the address I had been given and, just my luck, it was gone, just like that! Without a clue as to how to contact this woman, I got out my back-up plan—the local YMCA address and booked myself in for a £30 night of ghetto fabulousness. The receptionist was very friendly but that didn’t make up for the fact that I had to drag my suitcase up four flights of stairs and sleep in a smelly pseudo prison cell listening to bass beats banging through the walls all night. This is what I get for losing information.
On the bright side – bright is the correct way to describe the sun that I awoke to pouring in the huge curtain-less window – I was very close to the office. I trooped it over while somehow pissing off my stomach along the way. I was pleasantly greeted by the receptionist and then sweep upstairs by the editorial assistant I had been corresponding to throughout the past months. After a brief introduction to… well, just himself, I met the deputy editor who informed me of all the work I would be completing. I was very excited. She planned to have me write two features for the magazine and immediately threw me some subediting to do. Yay!!
The office is small and the editor of the magazine, a renowned yoga instructor, also runs a law firm from the same location. It’s pretty entertaining. The office is undergoing construction requiring us – the editorial assistant Nick, me and another intern Jane – to sit in this small room with lots of lawyers. They specialise in immigration and all day long we get to listen to tell people how not to get deported. Ha!
I work alongside Jane who is a BU – Boston, the REAL BU – who is on a study abroad that incorporates an 8-week internship within journalism. She’s a lot of fun and already knows the ropes so I can turn to her when I’m confused as hell.
I was excited to have been given real work my first day there but for some reason my stomach was becoming more and more angry at me for… I don’t know, living? I left soon after 4 (my hours are 10am-4pm, with an hour break for lunch… SWEET!) dreading the long journey I had ahead of me I entitled: the road to a unknown room.
I had to first walk back to the tube… ‘ooo, I think I might be sick…’ and take the tube back to the YMCA to pick up my suitcase that they reluctantly held for me. It was a decent walk so I desperately searched for a cab… ‘please please please, Im going to die’… but luck was not – ‘YES!!! THANK THE LORD! TO THE YMCA AND BEYOND!’ I had to give the guy a fiver as collateral of my return to the cab after collecting my bag. If he only knew that I was incapable of walking for more than 10 ft without doubling over in a corner. ‘BACK TO THE TUBE AND BEYOND!’
This was the beginning of my new morning commute – the central line to Bond St and then switch to the Jubilee line. ‘Death – please! All these people staring at me in fear are going to beat me up if I vomit on them. Death would be easier to clean up!’ I made it through the central line. ‘Death again – damn the tubes are hot! I hate commuting! Death, death, death.’ I made it through the Jubilee line. Now, I am supposed to get a bus from ‘out in front of the tube station.’ Simple instructions except, there is no bus stop in front of the tube. Ohhhh it’s down the road and under the bridge—that’s obvious! I find a bus—it says it goes to Cricklewood Lane. She said she lived on Cricklewood. Ok. ‘Death, death, death—these people are also staring.’ The driver is happy to tell me when to get off and point me towards Cricklewood Lane. I walk up it. No number ##! I call her. No answer! I call again! I walk back down the street. I try the other side of the street. According to the house numbers I could find and their location – my stop was… under the overpass. The way I was feeling I would have been perfectly content to sleep under the overpass.
I finally get in touch with her and describe to her where I am. She tells me to find the bus. I say “I don’t want to get on a bus. I hate buses. How do I walk there?” She just keeps saying something about a bus. Does she not realise that I will vomit on the driver? I guess not; when I think about it, why would she? We fight – language barrier, Eng is not her first language – until she says she’ll come meet me. She’s wearing a green coat. I begin to walk until I realise the road she lives on… is not the road I am standing on. Ahhhhhh, it all makes sense now. I continue to walk towards what I am beginning to believe is the end of me, all along looking for the green coat. YES! THERE IT IS! I SEE IT! THREE HOURS AFTER LEAVING WORK, I HAVE FINALLY LOCATED MY NEW HOME! It’s that doorway over there in between all these closed up and graffitied shops. Oh joy! As long as there is someplace to continue my slow death in peace, I don’t care. Shit! I found the place but had never found the green coat, therefore she was out looking for me and not answering the doorbell I kept insistently ringing.
I plopped my arse down on the sidewalk and waited. The woman finally came and was more than friendly considering I had sent her on a wild goose chase. The flat is adorable and she set me up a nice little bed in the bedroom. I was more than grateful at this point and through her some money and laid down in my grave. It was now about 7:30 and I spent the next three hours tossing and turning. I did sleep but it took a small coughing fit to reverse my peristalsis and empty my stomach. Ahhh, peace! I hadn’t been sick for non alcohol related reasons in years – what a horrible feeling. At least when it’s attributed to alcohol you can blame yourself and bargain away you weekend nights to God. I didn’t even know what to bargain this time – pizza? Egg McMuffin? The YMCA? All of the above just to be safe.
I woke up the next day feeling 95% better and have been on the rise ever since. It is now Friday and while I was not supposed to go into work today, I needed to a landline in order to contact a woman in Australia for an article I was requested to write. I don’t think the interview went as well as it could have but I guess it could have been worse. I had no guidance on the angle of the article and my boss was not around to discuss it with me before hand.
Anyway, off to meet a friend (PwCer) in South London for a few drinks; although I believe she said to meet her at Revolution, therefore a few drinks is an understatement.