Tuesday, July 6, 2010
13th Stop - London
My swing through Bruges ate up precious time and I had to gun it to make my ferry on time. Great, 15 minutes before it’s leaving, I made it... or not. “Sorry sir, the platform has been raised, you’ll have to wait for the next one in two hours.” Mitigated luck, I had to wait but could work on a translation I had to do and they didn’t charge me extra.
Visa had set up an emergency transfer via Western Union so I could get some cash. London is an expensive city, I was going to need it. Unfortunately, they gave me the wrong codes and I couldn’t get the money. So I stopped at an HSBC in Lewisham and withdrew money at the “world’s local bank”. Thanks to my status as a Premier client, I can withdraw cash in any HSBC around the world. That’s cool.
The next two days I did private Wordfast trainings in-company and in-library, but more importantly, struggled with parking. Three minutes late with the meter and I had a ticket for £40! On Friday, I ended up parking in the most expensive parking garage I could find, after searching for hours it seemed, then had to take the tube into the congestion zone.
The next night we went out to a house party after having tapas and cheering on Spain to win their quarter-final match. The house party was hosted by a friend of a friend of a friend from Vietnam! It was interesting meeting the staff from expedia.com, some actors and film production crew from a recent movie, and a contingent of Spaniards from Malaga who were there visiting someone...
One last highlight of my time in London was the indian restaurant we ate at Monday night. Note to self, stop eating once I start feeling full, I don’t have to eat everything on the table. We all had a hard time standing up and walking out of there!
Next stop: Madrid!