“Oh he’s IN the toilet…”- Favorite Britishism so far
Have now been in London for five days and am absolutely loving it. I am just now decompressing and trying to organize my thoughts and am realizing I am just starting to accept that this is my home for the time being. Amazing.
At a high level, London is big. That sounds obvious, and in some ways it is, but London’s size is compounded by how much awesomeness is in every single area. Everyone knows the Big Ben, Buckingham Palace type attractions, but what is not so obvious is how there are things worth seeing and doing in the furthest corners of the city. Imagine Los Angeles… but every neighborhood was as unique as Hollywood, had interesting people, and had two thousand years of history. Case in point, I was headed to a big lunch party at a friends place in Notting Hill last week, and as I was walking from the Tube stop to his flat, I noticed people walking down a side street and followed them.
Portobello Road Antique market is a massive outdoor market in this funky little street that stretches for miles. They had super cool stuff, weird food tents, and tons of street performers. I bought some schtuff and a pair of fresh white kicks (Sidebar: PEOPLE WEAR NORMAL SHOES IN THIS CITY TYTYTYTYTYTY) This sort of random discovery time is constant. I love it.
The other high level difference I have noticed is how freaking international people are here. I have had conversations with: A startup founder from India, a mall worker from Italy, a ton of Spanish developers, a singer/dancer from Australia, a hiker from Poland, and TONS more people like this. (Sidebar: for the first time in my life somebody told me they love American accents. What….) Anyways, with this diversity comes an overwhelming mix of colors/clothing/food etc that contributes to the crazy energy that its unavoidable in most areas. I honestly feel like I am in the center of the whole entire world.
Ok so some details
Where I live:
Yes.. This is my street…. What???! Crazy crowded touristy area but so much fun. Surrounded by all of the West End Theaters, restaurants, and pubs! (Sidebar: Plz help me get Harry Potter Musical Tickets.) Already planning on getting Book of Mormon tickets and a few others. I have Soho, one of the most fun areas in the city to my north, and Covnent Garden to my right. Both super interesting and cool. Come visit.
Where I work:
I can walk to work… Big change from a 1.5 hour bus to Mountain View every day. Work culture is definitely long hours, but small office with super startup vibe. My team is incredibly international, and extremely fun. Friday night we went here after work:
Thursday we had one of the best meals I have ever had. Called “The Ottoman Feast” at a Turkish place.
Thanks Intuit. In general though while I think I will be working much longer hours than in the US, the culture here is such that everyone still does fun things after work.. So, the week and weekends feel a lot more similar and you just feel happier all around.
What else have I done in my jet lagged days.
-Bucket list item! Woke up early and ran on the Thames during sunset. Incredible.
-Did a free workout bootcamp in Hyde Park with a group lunch after today. I am dead but met some awesome people! It rained and I was the only one suprised/not prepared.
-Wandered.. A lot. So much to see and do it feels like my nine months won’t even scratch the surface.
Some new things on the bucket list.
-Silent Disco on top of one of the tallest buildings here.
-Explore East London…. It’s the Hayes Valley of SF.