Pimms, New Flat, and Speakers/Haters Corner
London Travel Blog› entry 10 of 47 › view all entries
David and I are in our new flat! Well, not RIGHT NOW... right now I'm at the reception temp job again. They've called me back for today and tomorrow, but now its possible a whole week which will be totally sweet! I love this gig! I will have to cancel the two jobs I have with the catering company this week, but sorry, I need the better pay and I'd rather get out at 5pm than at 11pm. :x
Oh, we've started the catering job. So far so good. Done a couple jobs at this massive venue called Old Billingsgate, where they throw these massive receptions/dinners for 900-1100 people! The venue's really cool, but the work is pretty demanding. Plus, you're working with about half of the people really putting in an effort and half of the people who don't give a turd about anything.
Like Saturday, I worked back in the pantry instead of serving. In the pantry, you're basically in charge of getting the 100+ bread/butter baskets done, and then the 100+ coffee services done. To make it organized, we counted out how many milk jugs, petit fours and sugar bowls each of the four sections of the dining room needed - exactly. Each server has a partner, and in each partnership there are three tables; each partnership is supposed to get 3 milk jugs, 3 sugar bowls, 3 petit fours, one each per table... Well, apparently this is VERY difficult for some people... We ended up running out of all of them and some tables were shorted! >:< This is because people can't communicate with their partners and don't look at the table before setting extra things out!!! One table ended up with FOUR MILK JUGS! WTF?!
We moved into our flat on Friday (I think)! Its very nice, though the sheets on the bed are like a burlap sack. :/ Ah well... Pretty much everytime we get home we're so exhausted we pass out anyways. haha... Took us three trains and nearly an hour and a half to get there, and my shoulders are still aching from carrying all our luggage. But we made it! We settled in a bit and then had to leave for work with the catering company. When we arrived back that night, there was a party in our back yard! At first I was a little upset, but everyone ended up being really nice so it was okay. However, it was pretty funny because the party was a bunch of South Africans who had lived with the South African couple who live in our flat... only that couple had gone to bed, and the only person left at the party was our British flatmate, James, who had only just met everyone as well.
I think as a whole, the majority of people I have met have been South Africans. Weird huh? But the people at the party said it was probably because once they are old enough, a lot of people move away from South Africa due to the unrest there. :( Can't imagine what that's like. I mean, we have problems in the US, but not like in some countries by any means. I spoke to a guy at the catering thing who is from Macedonia and he was telling me about how much his country has been through and how most people don't even know the half of it because the governments involved don't really tell the whole truth. But he said that everything was better now because they have the US on their side, and when the US is on your side people have a hard time pushing you around. I found his attitude interesting and not really what I would have expected - but I really can't say why I wouldn't have thought he'd have such a positive attitude about America. I guess we're told so much that everyone hates us that we don't realize that sometimes we help people.
Now I have to talk about Pimms. When we first arrived, we saw a million and one adverts for this stuff, which they don't really explain what it is. Eventually we figured out it was a drink, and alcohol, but not really what kind. We serve it at all the receptions for the catering co and people go wild for it. Of course, I needed to try it because it seems like the quinticential Brit drink. On Saturday after work we headed to a pub for a wind down and it was on the menu, so I ordered it. I probably sounded like a retard because now I realize it goes with a mixer but I jsut said "Pimms" and the girl gave me a Pimms and soda I think... but apprently Pimms and lemonade is really brilliant. Anyway - its I guess gin based and they stuff a bunch of fruit and a cucumber slice into it. It was actually really refreshing! So that was my experience with a uniquely British drink.
Yesterday was the most brilliant day ever here in Britain! Sunny and really really hot - I wore a tank top for the first time here! David and I made our way into the city to meet up with his friend, Lindsey. Went to Hyde Park, which is pretty awesome and a very nice way to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon. And every Sunday they have this thing called Speakers Corner. Basically, if you bring something small to stand on you can get up and say whatever thing is on your mind at the time. A lot of people use it for religious or political motives, and there is a lot of argueing and heckling. People get very upset and angry, but surprisingly not violent (at least from what I saw). People would argue with the speaker, and then argue among eachother! Small groups of every age, race and gender were breaking off to shout at eachother. It was crazy! So much anger and hate, but altogether a crazy and interesting sight to see.
But there were some people promoting happy things! We got free hugs! Also, this guy wants to be a prophet and was having the crowd help him design a religion. It was great! No Wheatabix (sp?) on Tuesday (the holy day), the holy book is called "I'm Blind, Too," and the holy land is somewhere in South America. lol...
So that's a long update! Sorry! Hope there was at least something enjoyable in there!
PS - If you've made it this far, just a note - sometimes I take pictures, but I don't add them in until later usually because I'm just that lazy. So check back. I'll usually put them up before I post another entry.