To sum up the biggest difference this far, is the fact that we totally rely on public transportation to get us nearly everywhere. Our day typically begins early, as we walk to the nearest train station which is about 15 minutes away. Our goal is to be at the gym when it opens (6:30am), so we can claim a pool lane. Another thing, we have to be really aware and manage our time more efficiently, because certain trains only come at certain times, and if we miss it, it delays us getting to the pool. I think that is what makes London such a fast-paced city; everyone has some place to get to, and a personal agenda, and everyone wants to squeeze more into their life. It feels like such an ordeal to plan to go into town due to the planning of how to get there, etc.
When we arrive to the main train station to catch the tube to our stop, (the tube ride is about 6-7 stops away), it always is amazing how many people are in the main stations. (It is particularly bad during the rush hours). It reminds me of the Jackson Pollock painting, “Lavender” because everyone is going different directions. Some times I watch carefully to see how many people literally run into each other. Usually though, it is like a carefully planned dance with strangers moving at a rigorous pace. Often times, I feel like I need body amour to protect myself from the impact when someone does collide into me.
After we reach our final tube stop, the walk to the gym isn’t too far away. The gym is below the railway which adds some rumbles to our workouts! It is really nice, but when I think about how far under the earth I am, and when I can slightly hear the underground tubes running parallel to the gym walls, it freaks me out a bit. We pay a small fortune to belong to a private gym.
Once we finish with our workouts, we either walk to work or catch a bus if we can manage to squeeze ourselves on. Some times the buses are so full, that at times we are literally pushing ourselves into strangers just to get a lift. The walk to work is about 15-20 minutes at a fast pace.
Jack and I work at the same building, in the same room, about 50 meters away from each other. This was a surprise to us, as we knew we would be working in the same building, but didn’t know it would be in the same floor or same room. Our downfall is the little Starbucks that is right across our building’s front door. At least a couple days a week we meet for a latte.
One of my favorite people and someone I look forward to seeing on a daily basis is our building security officer, John. He is Irish and is such a delight. He greets us each day by name. At times, it is as though he knows when some thing may not be going as planned for me; he is always there to say “Ang, what is up Love” or “Ang, are you okay?” He was the first person Jack and I met when we popped into check out our new office before our first day. Unlike so many people in London, he is always cheerful and smiling.
When our days are over at work, we usually start the commute home together. We only live a little over 5 miles from work, and it takes us either between 1-1 ½ hours to get home due to the chaos and dense population.