To solve my problem of isolation I have enacted a bicycle fix.

So I haven’t posted in a while… I only tend to write when I have something to report. When travelling that is generally every couple of days, but now that I am doing the Monday to Friday grind things aren’t so exciting. That is not to say that I haven’t done anything since landing in London, only it takes a while to accumulate stuff. And I generally hate talking about mundane crap that I do that really wouldn’t interest me in a couple of months let alone anyone else.

Yet since I have been absolutely lousy at staying in touch since Christmas I should at least write something. Anything. One word:

isolation.

This city is doing my head in, distances in London are very misleading. My former flatmate Justin the first time I spoke to him upon arriving here mentioned that it is not like New Zealand, in that you have to make plans weeks or months in advance if you want to do ‘anything’. A weekend out should be planned two weeks in advance, a trip to somewhere at least a month. Dinner during the week should be planned for the following week. Maybe I haven’t quite grown up and got responsible yet, but my go with the flow attitude means that I am really struggling to make this city work in my favour. It is nearly impossible to drop in on someone or go out for an impromptu coffee.

On Saturday I had arranged to go to a play with a friend Olly 7.3opm in the evening. I stayed the night at his and Sean’s (my cousin’s) house in Highgate, (North London). I left the house at 2pm to travel to town to buy some sports gear (Central London), head to Maruska’s (my other cousin) in Isleworth (South London) to get changed and back to London Bridge by 7pm from where we would walk to the play that started at 7.30pm. Plenty of time I thought. 6 and a 1/2 hours later I arrived late at the play where the doors were locked. Aside from mishaps such as the Jubilee underground line not running causing me to take a bus, and the sports store being the largest yet most disorganised store I have been too, the resulting mess was all my fault. Every evening or weekend I need to know where I am going to be at a given time, have a clue on when the trains leave, how to make the connections, leave places with plenty of time both at the start and at the end. THIS DOES NOT SUIT MY PERSONALITY!

I spent tonight looking at 3 flats from 6.30 pm to when I got home at 10.40pm. It takes about 45 minutes to travel between each flat to view, and 1 hour and a 1/2 to get home. I have to do this night after night because the rental situation in London is dire. I am tired :( I want a home!  I don’t want that home to be shit, cost me a fortune or leave me at the wrong end of the Bakerloo line.

In any city in New Zealand it would be easy to travel from one side to another and make one stop on the way in 5 hours. Geographically London is even similar in size to Auckland. I have started riding a bike here which is good for the exercise. It has also highlighted to me how much a mess this city is transport wise, and it has really good public transport. I can catch the bus to work in the morning and it takes an hour and a quarter. If I bike it takes thirty minutes. I can catch the tube from Highgate it takes an hour door to door. I can ride and it takes 45 minutes. This doesn’t even count journeys that don’t have decent public transport links. It is not that big, it is just a jammed up, convoluted mess. There may be a congestion charge, but it is still wall to wall traffic. There may be an underground, but it isn’t New York.

So I have ranted a bit. It is not all bad, but I will save a more positive report for tomorrow evening!


Comments

  1. Hans Dreesen

    Heh… Never been to London, but I wouldn’t have imagined it being that hectic. And I thought Belgium was busy (compared to Oz ;-)

    Keep up the good faith!

    124:234 22:51, Jan 23 2008

  2. Rachel

    Wondered if you had been buried alive at the office or something…good to read your rantings again :-) xo

    124:235 16:29, Jan 24 2008

  3. Vic

    But now you have us to entertain you :)

    I think we should instigate a tea trolley, with a squeaky wheel, in the office.

    124:236 10:07, Jan 25 2008

  4. mummybot

    * Hey Hans! If you want to come and visit, there is a bed/sofa for you and your fiancee to crash on. London is great – and only a quick flight or train away. Yeah it is more frantic here, but I understand more of what is going on, so I’m finding it a lot easier!

    * Hey Rachel – glad to here you are working for a cool company in Chch. Do you have travel on the horizon or in the future? I hear England is pretty cool right now ;)

    * Thanks for making me feel not so isolated :) See you on Monday Vic.

    124:237 10:10, Jan 27 2008

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