I went into London today for a job interview...which was super exciting in and of itself, BUT...London.
It was the first time I had spent any amount of time in London since the Christmas Party (which I now realize I have neglected to post the story of...not to worry! It will be up soon!) and my first time EVER going in alone.
I forgot how wonderful it is. The buzz, the people, the fashion...
I left the house this morning, got my train ticket at the station 5 minutes before the next train to London...perfect timing. I had a pleasant ride in, going over my resume, the job description...finishing up a crossword puzzle. I arrived in London at Euston Station, had no problems getting to the underground trains I needed, and even heard some American accents :-) And finally I arrived at Covent Garden Station. I walked up the stairs into the light and fresh air....and there it was. London.
I was immediately, and unexpectadly, hit with the energy of it. It showed up much faster than I expected, I thought I would be walking through a station for a bit before I reached the outside.
I promptly fell in love with the city all over again.
Right through the Lion King clad barriers was the wonderful historical world of London. I could see the people rushing...the street that at first glance I thought wasn't open to vehicles but then realized it was...but people didn't care and they used it as a sidewalk anyway :-) The shops, the street signs, the restaurants and street vendors. I had forgotten the feeling it gave me. That giddy, wonderful feeling that makes Dr. Samuel Johnson's words "when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford" feel incredibly poingnant and apt.
Once on the street I took a moment to get my bearings and got out the directions to my interview. I confidently began walking down...whatever street I was on :-) A man walked up to me, told me I looked like a very nice person and could he have just a few minutes of my time? No, I said, I have an appointment to get to, sorry! And kept on walking!! Feeling like a very savy Londoner I continued and only had to backtrack once because I came upon the street I needed much sooner than expected. My destination was just a hop-skip-and-a-jump from the station. Score! As I walked through Covent market I had street performers on one side and a beautiful old church on the other.
That's one of the things I love SO much about London. Everywhere you look, there's something interesting going on. There is so much new, innovative things going on...but you look around and see so much history at the same time. And you know that, although these street performers are people of today...this street has probably seen centuries of street performers, whether playing the joker or the herald.
I arrived at my final destination an hour early. It happened to be right next to a bar/cafe. So I went in and had some lunch while continuing to prepare. It was quiet...very few people. Like a sanctuary from the hustle and bustle outside. And then suddenly I looked up and it was full of people...and there was the energy again. And across from my table...Americans :-) Just a touch from home. Thank you London :-)
I still had time after I ate so I walked down the street a bit and just...watched. I got a feel for the area and the people. And I loved it.
After the interview, as I was walking back toward the station, I noticed a little garden. In between two very old, very tall buildings was what could at one time have been a large alley. Now it was terraced concrete with wooden benches, a fountain and many flower pots. It was seperated from the sidewalk by rod iron fencing. Entering through the gate, suddenly you really were in a sanctuary...a little oasis to sit, remember nature amid all the concrete of the city and recharge. It felt quiet although you could still hear the movement of London behind you. In the middle of it all...but apart.
To be honest it uped the stakes. The interview went well by the way...at least I hope it did :-) It sounded like a wonderful opportunity for me and the perfect fit for what I'm looking for right now. The surroundings...that just made it even more perfect. Which of course makes me even more insane about wanting the job and being nervous about how I did in the interview :-)
The journey back home went just as well as the journey in :-) No problems what-so-ever :-) I even had a shady character outside of Euston station tell me I looked lovely and very executive in my suit :-) Yay for me! :-)
Anyway...after my overpriced London lunch, I had just enough money to treat myself to some local Chicken Chow Mein. Curling up on the couch with Chinese food, a beer, Criminal Minds, The Mentalist, Project Runway and a bit of Chelsea Lately for good measure. The perfect ending to a glorious day.
The only way it could have been more perfect is if my Husband had been there to share it all with me :-) But he was there in spirit, which helped more than I can say. Speaking of...I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all my friends that sent good wishes my way for the day.
Luckily my interviewer said she'd call by Friday, so I don't have to wait too long to see if I'll be able to take that wonderful journey everyday...let's hope it's fantastic news!