Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Chalk Farm Tube

Who knew it was on the Northern Line? And who knew that it involved a 45 minute journey from Baker Street consisting of a change at Kings Cross and a bewildered meander through a million and one tunnels? I certainly didn't. If I did, I wouldn't have ended up feeling incredibly stupid when I discovered that it was a mere 15 minute walk from my flat!

I got a call from a really lovely 'fellow-future-trainee' (FFT) yesterday, who I'd met last week and had really liked. She invited me to a picnic with her and another really nice girl, and said - meet at Chalk Farm tube at 12.30. This morning, admittedly a little late (at 11.30) I had a look at the TFL (Transport for London) website which, I am not ashamed to say I still use, after five years of living in London. Now, the TFL Journey Planner has never failed me in the past. You put in the postcode, street or tube stn at which you want to begin your journey, similar details for your destination, and then the amazing planner presents a number of bus routes by which you can get there. It even goes so far as to give you an estimate for the journey time, and a PDF map for each stage of the journey (depending on if you have to change buses etc). Now.. I'm a lazy bum. I hate the tube for the same reasons as all other normal people (non-Londoners included) which are, that its dirty, its hot, its dirty, its slow, its dirty, it smells and.. (you get it..) its dirty!! But another reason why I hate the tube, which I never ever disclose for fear of being seen as an utter slob, is that the nearest tube station to me, is a 5-6 minute walk from my flat. For this very shameful reason, I much prefer the bus, as there's a stop right outside my doorstep, at which I can have my pick of 4 different red buses (my favourite of which is the 274, to digress slighty).

Yeah.. so.. anyway.. or whatever the url is, told me that I'd have to change buses twice and then walk for about 15 minutes, which I thought was basically, ridiculous. So, despite the fact that I would have to walk to the station and change at Kings Cross (another thing I never do is take the tube if I have to change lines), I decided to go by tube. Anyway, to cut this story short, it took me abso-bloody-lutely ages to get to Chalk Farm. In fact, I was 45 minutes late!! I was also ridiculously hot, and had developed two not-inconspicuous sweat patches under my arms. This of course meant that I would remain insanely hot for the rest of the afternoon, as I didn't want my new friends to think I was some native who had never heard of a razor or hair removal cream, and therefore, didn't take my cardigan off the entire afternoon.. not once, not even when the sun was burning up my back and I began to fear that I might faint!!

You will therefore probably be as surprised as I was, when, despite the aforementioned mishaps, it turned out to be a really lovely afternoon! The two FFTs are such nice people, and they're so my kind of people! Something small to illustrate this, is what we had for lunch. I know I'm about to come off sounding like a pretentious ass, but I really couldn't care less. I could not believe it when we stopped at this gorgeous delicatessen, and they pounced on the pate, cheese and tapenade! In fact, if I'm honest, I felt totally out of my league, as, even though I'm a lover of "fine" food, I don't actually know much about it, or about the different types available. So there they were ranting about Chaume cheese (which I had to confess I'd never tried, although it turned out that I had had it once before, but I'm just not the type who remembers the names of cheeses!) and Forrestiere pate, and all I could do was grin like a complete loser, cuz I'd already discovered many other things we had in common, and was just so happy! (F.y.i I do have friends by the way. I realise I'm coming off as a complete desperado/overeagerbeaver, so I just had to stress that I do have other friends of my own, who are in fact very cool, and will probably be the only people to ever read this blog. Gosh.. they're so gonna roll their eyes at that last bit) So anyway... I've decided I love the two FFTs, because, pretentious as I've made them sound (which they so aren't), they're also really really nice, down to earth people!

All this time I've spent gushing about the FFTs has made me really really late to meet my own real friends (who do exist.. I promise!), and they're probably already mad at me as I live 5 minutes away from the restaurant we were meant to meet at half an hour ago, but will most likely be the last to arrive. So.. till next time..

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Strawberry Sensations

The box says "Delicious eaten hot or cold". I disagree. They're only good when they're hot... and fresh from the toaster. But then they're too hot to handle when they're fresh from the toaster, which means you're left with a fuzzy, fried tongue. There's no denying that they're delicious though. When I was younger, I thought they were sickly and too sweet... Isn't that ironic? My tastebuds were a lot more mature then than they are now. Having gone out into the big bad world however, I now jump, literally, at the chance to devour something sweet and.. uh.. sugary. There's a lot of bitterness out there, and consequently, with the passing of time, I've become a sucker for sugar. A favoured medium of the sugar fix, is the Pop Tart, especially the Strawberry variety. All I need is one to see me through the day.

Last week, I met the other 129 'young professionals' in the same boat as me. The boat was bloody crowded mind you, which meant that at every coffee break I lunged frantically at the scantily-clad tables which screamed out promises of "sugar, sugar and more sugar!!!" I'm not saying the environment was bitter, rather, that the growing realisation of my sheer incompetence when compared to the other 129, did incredible things to my own personal levels of bitterness.

Take Day Two of the Induction Programme for example... On that memorable day, I found myself feeling rather drunk and disoriented as a result of a poorly-prescribed dosage of malaria medication. The 'medic' who proffered the prescription was in fact my mother, who has no medical training whatsoever, so I can't exactly say I was surprised to find myself stumbling over my abnormally-large shoes, falling off chairs, and slurring my oddly-constructed sentences. I was put to work in a team of five, which proved to be a total disaster for the simple reason that in such a small team, the efficiency of each member is paramount. This also means, that any dummies within the team are immediately exposed, as there really is nowhere to run or nothing to hide behind when there're so few of you. I made not one useful contribution over the course of the 8 hour day. By the 5th hour, I resigned myself to the menial task of moving the counters around the board (.. we were playing a game, not studying rocket science, which makes this memory all the more painful) and counting out the money. I also proved to be a dab hand at wiping out the figures recorded from the previous round, without leaving the slightest trace of black ink behind on the board - Talk about a fait accompli!

By the end of the day I had eaten six or seven chocolate biscuits and had drank 3 cups of tea (each with 3 cubes of sugar). If only I'd had a trusty Pop Tart to hand. First, it would have spared me having to drink disgusting tea (I hate tea.. but more on that later). Second, it would have gone some way towards compensating me for the shame, dismay and extreme sorrow I felt on that terrible terrible day. Actually, now that I think about it, it would have taken a hell of a lot more than one Pop Tart to do the trick. Day Two was a bad bad day

Bitchy.. c'est qui exactement?

Bitchy is a girl, aged 21, living in London, not in the City, but who, very soon, will begin working in the City.

Bitchy is me. I am Bitchy. My name, in fact, is Bitchy.. not because I'm a particularly bitchy female, but because of my creator's inexplicable obsession with all things bitch-related.

I am a fictional character. At first glance, my profile may be remarkably similar to that of my creator.. but, despite what you may think, I am, in fact, a different person.

In a year's time, I will be joining a gynormous corporation - a city law firm to be exact. Am I happy about this? I don't know. At the moment, you could say I was 'ambivalent'.

Over the next year I will be at a Law School, in London, attending a course that has been created, designed and manipulated by my future firm (FF) to ensure that I will in no way deviate from the stereotype of which the firm is so proud. I will emerge a smarter, and more mentally-stimulated individual.

In the process, I will have no life, no love (how on earth am I to pencil boyfriend-discovery time into a schedule that is already teeming with 50hrs of 'constructive' learning a week?), an alcohol addiction (because everyone around me will be substance-dependent and I draw the line at anything that is smoked, snorted or injected), and will most likely be overweight (who goes to the gym after 50 hours? Nobody.. that's who).

Things do not look good.