I sent this memo to myself while semi drunk after client drinks (that’s 70% of recruitment in London) and “after” auto corrected to “fatter”.
YES, APPLE! I’m fatter since working in London’s booze-fuelled recruitment hub and even fatter since having a boyfriend from northern England where a standard meal includes crisps, chips, some sort of sauce, a hefty portion of meat and a sweet treat to conclude. Something he’s always called, for the duration of the two years I’ve known him as, “something for afters“.
I don’t know if this is a British term, a northern British term or just something my boyfriend says, but the mushy, saddo in me finds it cute. So when I phoned him on my way home in my pickled-state to ask if he needed anything from the shops this was his request.
Of course I then went home (sweet treat of chocolate in my bag) and picked a fight with him, over nothing, and he smiled, kissed me and said “Bron, you’re drunk, go to bed.”
I’m lucky he’s so patient.
A few months back I made a new friend. On the London Underground. During the morning commute. I know, you’re not supposed to talk to train people. But I did, because he was hot, I was feeling confident and he had an All Blacks shirt and a Maori tattoo so I knew he must be a Kiwi. In fact the first thing I said was “love your shirt”. Real unoriginal, slightly creepy, but 100% effective. Turns out, he’s not a Kiwi. He’s a full blown Brit complete with British accent but has family back in New Zealand.
The conversation flowed as we sat a seat apart, and on opposite sides – until the lovely man next to me asked if Brit-Kiwi would like to switch with him. When he did, my excitement grew. We talked about travel, work (he’s a project manager in construction), London and of course the weather. I couldn’t believe how easy it was to talk to a complete stranger during my morning commute – I was excited and waiting for him to ask that golden question – “can I have your number?”.
He never bloody asked.
Fast forward to today, guess who’s on my train? I spotted him (because of his tattoo) and tried not to stare. We were a few seats apart and I saw him spot me out of the corner of my eye and look a couple times. I played it cool and didn’t catch his eye – instead just ignored him for two stops. Finally I turned when he did and smiled and said hi. As we were so far apart and he didn’t make a move last time I remained playing it cool and kept my ear phones in.
We both got off at the same stop, he was in front of me and I could see him looking around. He was looking for me. When he spotted me he smiled and asked how I was. I asked about his trip that he’d mentioned last time. He asked what I’d been up to and it was all very easy and friendly like we’d known each other for awhile, not like this was the second time we’d met.
I’d love to say there was an exciting end to this build up, but I’d be lying. When it came time to part ways he said “maybe I’ll catch you again soon!”. Grrrrrrr. Maybe he’s a big chicken? Or maybe he’s waiting for the third, fourth or fifth time we meet?
Or maybe he’s simply not that into me. But I can’t believe a random guy on the tube would look around for me to have an actual conversation on his morning commute. It goes against everything I know about London commuters.
I have New Zealand friends visiting London right now, while we’re also in the middle of a tube strike, worst timing. It took me an extra 40 minutes to travel four stops this morning to get to work.
They’re all excited and blinded by the London lights; “let’s go to Soho for drinks tonight!”.
I’m all “Dude! I know you’re new here, but this is not how you handle a tube strike”.
The proper protocol is to go straight home from work, lock your doors, pour half a bottle of wine and wait out the chaos. I’ve survived two of these now, and I am not keen on changing my survival techniques any time soon.
Londoners will know what I mean.
It means meetings are cancelled (not really complaining) and that we’ve even had to postpone our work ‘do tomorrow night to in a month’s time (very much unhappy).
I don’t pretend to know all the ins and outs of the tube strikes – I gave up caring the second time they put us at a standstill – by the third time it’s just a matter of coping, and carrying on as much as possible. Not seeing my friends, or drinking with work colleagues isn’t cool – but my liver is beyond happy at the break.