Sometimes you can’t help but get lost…

4 Aug

The start of our fourth week in London brings about a new perspective on living in a different country. It’s at this time that things hit you and you realise how draining it is to establish yourself and the effort it takes to make your way in a whole new country. All you want to do is relax and see the sights and have fun, and sleep in and go out and drink beer, and sleep in some more and go shopping. It’s also draining to plan every single trip in advance – to get out our pocket maps every single time we go to an agency meeting or a job interview, to calculate how long it’s going to get there on the tube, add walking time, add potential train delays, all in enough time to get there early to make the right impression – all while looking immaculate! The streets and alleyways of London have bizarre street names like ‘mews’, ‘gardens’, ‘walks’ are confusing enough.

Today, on my (Mel) way to a meeting, I thought for sure that Matt would be waiting at the myOE office located near St Paul’s underground station where we agreed to meet after I was done. We parted ways at the station and I managed to get to my meeting. My meeting took about 45 minutes, I got back to the tube, picked up a Starbucks iced coffee on my way, arrived to the myOE office, chatted to a new friend and fired up the computer, all ahead of Matt arriving. Twenty minutes later and half way through checking our emails, Matt arrives, dishevelled and out of sorts, cursing under his breath about the two hours he just spent walking around central London in business attire looking for the myOE office. He walked in the complete opposite direction and ended up what he said felt like miles at a hotel. The nice lady at the hotel reception pointed out on a tourist map the way to go, only to find himself doubling back in the same direction. I couldn’t help but laugh when Matt told me of where he had been and how much time he had wasted – the whole point of going to myOE office was to use the free computers and phones to look for work and accommodation, plus we have been to this office at least twice before. Oh to have that time back! It’s now my duty to make sure Matt has his pocket map before walking out the door! Poor Matt…

This drama overshadowed my news to Matt that I was offered a job. It’s at an international college in London Bridge (south London) in a marketing/communications role. It’s not the ideal wage and it’s permanent, but at least I will get some UK experience on my CV. I start tomorrow, which meant I was able to go shopping (for real this time!) to gather some clothes for my new job. I went to Primark, a cheap-as-chips Target-like store along Oxford Street. Walking down Oxford Street – claimed to be Europe’s largest high street with something like 300 stores – to Primark took 40 minutes darting and weaving around slow-walking tourists. I was looking forward to having a break from all the people and quietly browsing through the store. Well, let me tell you… Primark is worse than Oxford Street – people everywhere all grabbing for cheap clothes. It took me another 40 minutes to select the clothes I wanted, let alone the line up to use the change room and to pay. There’s no use waiting in line to try things on, instead just try them on right there beside a mirror somewhere in the store to save yourself some time! It’s crazy and I never thought I would say that I was glad to get out of a clothes store!

So the week has just begun for us and it’s already proving to be busy. As always, we saw more of London on the weekend. We went to visit London Zoo – if monkey’s are your thing, then come here. They had some pretty cool animals, but coming from working at one of the best Zoo’s in the world, it’s certainly not that special in comparison. But still, worth the visit. We also met up with one of Matt’s mates on Sunday and took a drive out to Hampton Court Palace, which was one of the homes of King Henry VIII. It was a pretty spesh castle, but the best part was the gardens which were so incredibly beautiful (photo link to the right). Last Thursday night we also went on a bike ride through Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park (as part of the myOE free social event) and experienced what it was like to ride a bicycle (minus helmet) through the streets of London – just ask our friend Kristy what it’s like to get run into by a cab! We also spent some time at Walkabout Pub (we had to, we’re Aussies!!!!). It was awesome fun and a fabulous way to wind down after a long week. The music is decades old and there is beer. Enough said. It was good.

We are still yet to plan what we’ll get up to this weekend – so far there is a girls night planned in Camden and possibly another London walk or free museum. Life in London is still grand!

Mel and Matt xox


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today was meaningful

a collection of thoughts, life lessons, and days full of meaning.

Liv Hambrett

An Australian Writer in (North) Germany

I am the world's oyster

Photography, Aviation, Nature, Culture, Nikon, Canon, Qantas, Airlines, Emirates, Airports, A380, 747


Love for hand-knitted & -crocheted beauty. Proud designer & founder of LN|Beanies and LN|Andes, my two knit brands, my two loves.

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