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tomandsteph’s Travel Diary

Friday, 03 Nov 2006

Location: Peckham, South London, England

MapAfter hanging around the airport for a few hours with Mum, Ben and Kezz, Tom and I were a little nervous once we entered the departure lounge. But...looking out the window at our Austrian Airlines plane, it was a good omen to see that the plane we would call our home for the next 24hours was called the Don Bradman!!

Well, after 33 straight hours of traveling, we walked into Min and Chantell's Flat ready to collapse at about 11am on Thursday morning!! true Aussie style we had quick showers and jumped on a Big Red Double Decker Bus and headed into the City in search of a worthy place to have our first pint!!!

After wandering around and seeing some of the major sights we found a little pub in Covent Garden for a few pints. Feeling very light headed after only two, we were starving and grabbed a few groceries to cook for dinner and headed back to the flat. After having a few too many duty-free Vodkas with the girls, Tom and I hit the hay at about 9pm! and neither of us moved for about 13 hours!!!!

Friday, Tom and I had a very lazy day and our big outing was to jump on a bus and grab a few essentials from the grocery store. We then met Min and Channy at a great Bar on the Thames for a few Friday evening drinks before jumping on a bus for home at about 9.30.

Min surprised Tom with You am I tickets for Saturday night so they headed into Angel for the concert...Tom was so stoked and had a wonderful time. Channy and I had a lovely night in front of the telly watching a few chick flicks.

The first Mon - Wed after we arrived, Tom and I looked around the city, had some interviews with recruitment agencies and familiarised ourselves with the local off License. We had a wander around the city, waved to the Queen and had to pay £3 to sit in chair in St James Park!!!

My first two days worked was sitting on the reception desk of a swanky Real Estate Agency in Mayfair. In the two days that I was there I think they sold about £2million worth of property!!

That Friday night we initiated Channy into the "King of Beers" Hall of Fame and totally pissed off the girls neighbours by singing any Aussie songs we could find on Min's ipod into the early hours of Saturday morning. The highlight of the night was Tom doing his own rendition of the "Flash Beer" Carlton ad to Flash Dance for Min and Channy! The next morning the girls introduced us to the local Fried Chicken and Chips shop to cure the hangovers.

On Sunday, to Channy's delight we jumped on a few tubes and headed to the Natural History Museum. After waiting in a 500m long queue, huddled under an umbrella in the lovely London drizzle, we had our bags searched and went to look at the "T-Rex" skeleton. We soon discovered that "T-Rex" had gone into hibernation for the winter AND it was school holidays! So, our cultural Sunday was short lived and we decided to head home for a game of 500 and a few arvo ciders.

From Mon 23rd - 27th Oct I had my second job since arriving at a corporate finance company. The two directors were nice but the actual work was quite mind numbing and consisted of answering phones and scanning their files from 1995 onto their database.

Tom had an interview this week for a position working for the fashion house Burberry. They must have taken a liking to Tom as he was offered the position the next day. Needless to say...Min gave him heaps!!

That Friday Tom and I caught up with fellow Maitlanders, Keato and Emma at a great pub in the city. After totally forgetting my "mental note to self" that pints are bigger than schooners, Tom and I managed to catch the last tube and found our bus stop to head home.

After a trip to the Fried Chicken shop, we weren’t feeling too bad. That was the only time we left the house that day until 10pm when Min and Channy and Tom decided that they felt like a few ciders and headed to the off License, As a result of this trip, too many embarrassing photos were taken with funny hats and an oversized pair of pink sunglasses. There was roast lunch on the next day at the local pub!!

I received a call that Monday from my recruitment officer to say that she has 2 x 4hr shifts for me over the next two days working at a really fun place. I went with my mini A-Z London map to find my third job since arriving. When I arrived at the huge office block I was shown the ropes by the Full time South African girl whose first words to me were.."God I hate my job". I then discovered that for the next 4 hours (+ 4hrs tomorrow) that I would be sitting in a little kitchen, next to a phone on the 6th floor of a huge office waiting for the office staff to phone me to order whatever hot beverage they would like me to make them and bring to their desk!!! In 4hours (from 4-8pm) I think I made about 10 tea and coffees and spent the rest of the time catching up with the gossip from trashy magazines. Now I know that everyone tells you NOT to convert the pounds to Aussie dollars, but I was earning $22.50/hour being a tea lady!!! far the easiest money I have ever earnt. Where the bloody hell are we???