December 21, 2012 by leighnewlands
SATURDAY: My sister and I went to visit our cousin in Southfields. He’s studying music here in London but finishes in 6 months time so he’ll be back in Mzansi land SOON! We were meant to meet him at the station at 12, only really woke up at 12 so we kinda held up the crowd back at his place. Once we arrived, we were welcomed with open arms from a boy who just keeps growing taller and taller each day. We then began our trek down the road, an area that is known for having a lot of South African’s living in.
At his flat, we were introduced to an even friendlier bunch of people – I can’t remember all their names. I just remember Paddy, Jamie, Sam, Emily and Dan. And they had prepared a huge christmas feast – turkey, stuffing, yorkshire puddings, gravy, potato, veg and just everything a christmas meal consists of. It was lovely and much appreciated. We then took a stroll into the dark afternoon and made our way to the SA shop where everything is so much more expensive – it was nice to see familiar things however.
SUNDAY: We went to the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland where we were surrounded by christmas markets, German beer and open-air ice rinks. Unfortunately due to the popularity, ice-skating was booked up but there was plenty more to keep us entertained including carnival games and rides in which we won a big reindeer dressed up in a santa outfit and a baby tiger. No matter how old you get, you cannot resist the urge of carnival games and competing. As it became dark, we had managed most of our christmas shopping when the sky rumbled and lightning became apparent. All of a sudden one drop turned into 20 and 20 turned into a thousand and it was a sign it was time to leave – with no umbrellas, our stuffed toys and an expensive camera, it was a challenge for my sister and I to find either cover or transport. Eventually, after going in circles, we managed to climb onto the right bus, looking like drowned rats. And so our evening begun.
MONDAY: EY induction – welcome to EYG. Similar to the week before but allowing us to see our networks and the broad span that EY covers around the globe. Another girl who had just moved from SA to work here was at my table so it was nice to catch up and chat to her – I’ve been promoting SA and Cape Town in particular here, telling everyone how great it is. The best part is most people already know of it and Cape Town in particular and say how beautiful it is – so all you lucky people who live there, feel special!
TUESDAY: Back to work. no more inductions for a while I think but the workload increased today. Began advalues, learning how to setup my printer, editing documents and having to find a desk – they do this thing here where you “hot desk” so generally you’re not at the same desk all the time, you book a different one for each week but obviously on your floor but I wasn’t aware of this till this morning so I just stood like a wandering traveller till a desk became free.
WEDNESDAY: Nothing too exciting work wise. The evening we went on a Jack the Ripper walking tour which took us through the streets of London where the infamous murders occured, how they happened and where the bodies were left. We ended the tour by going to Brick Lane which is known for its Indian restaurants. We had a fantastic curry but of course, chose the restaurant with two christmas parties occuring! At least they were having a jolly good time as were we 🙂
The rain today was bucketing down though and so we made a dash for it, trying to find the nearest tube station with none of us owning an umbrella (you think we would’ve learnt from a few nights back)! We found two entrances only to find out they were locked for who knows what reason! We eventually found an open entrance at Aldgate East station where we got on and sat, staring at our drowned rat selves.
THURSDAY: Also, nothing spectacular at work. Received my second christmas card, from a lovely french colleague of mine here at work, Melodie. We then had christmas drinks at Grand Union in Kennington street. Lovely vibe and atmosphere and I received a good insight into many of my colleagues, their backgrounds and also received valuable advice to take with me into my future which I will always thank Melodie for.
As i’ve mentioned before, the culture in terms of technology is huge. In South Africa, everyone owns a Blackberry. Here in the UK, everyone owns an iphone. Also, with the reliance on public transport and many hours spent on it, commuters also own ipads and kindles. I’ve grown a huge attraction to Apple since I’ve been here, particularly to an Ipad Mini. I thought my luck had arrived yesterday but by the evening and this morning, I was very much disappointed. Have a look at my previous post –> https://newlandsjourney.wordpress.com/2012/12/21/scams-and-the-likes/
Later that evening we went to Camden Town which again provided an overwhleming number of shops to choose from! We got a good deal of £4 for this huge takeaway of chinese food. We then sat where there was this long line of scooters which had been turned into seats. Further down from the seats were a few dodgy characters – Wayne had told us that during the Olympics, the government had relocated many of the homeless, druglords and ex-cons to Camden Town area so as to not bother others such as tourists during the games. You could just tell by their ways that they were not all with it. We then took a stroll along Oxford Street where I managed to do a bit more christmas shopping for both friends and ourselves!
Not raining (yet). Delay on the tube for an unkown reason to man. I realised the reliance on public transport here is so large, I’m not sure if I could handle it – I miss my car and the sense of freedom. I also feel very exposed on tubes to things such as germs or even when I wore a dress the other day, on our way to the christmas party, everyone looking at you.
This evening we’re going open air ice-skating baby!
Two weeks down.