Work re-entry was brutal today. There was traffic and then I had a solid block of meetings from 10-3, and oh yeah, we moved in to our new offices over the weekend. So I had to adjust to cube world in addition to changing time zones and trying to get back in to work mode after a week off. I don't know where anything or anyone is. I can't print. I can't find my security card. I didn't even get to start unpacking until after 4, and there are approximately 500 emails I have to read through. I finally started to hit my stride by the very end of the day, so hopefully tomorrow will be better. Rather than bitch about work all night, I thought I'd share a few pearls of wisdom I gained from my trip.
1) Even though England is cold and rainy, no one there wants to turn on the damn heat. If you are, say, a naïve American who brought a bunch of cute springy outfits, you will freeze and end up wearing the same pair of jeans every day, while coming up with creative ways to layer different combinations of the tops you have with you.
2) Americans really are the fattest people in the world. You could always tell the Americans before they even opened their mouths, and not just because of their clothes. There is a sleekness, a roundness, a softness to the way we look that gives us away.
3) We may be the losers in the fat department, but we have the best teeth. Good God there are some messed up teeth in this world!
4) American public transportation is a joke. I think New York City comes closest, but nothing in this country can compare to the level of convenience, the number of options, and the coverage of the city offered in London.
5) Which is good, because there is no way I could ever drive in London. First of all, the whole wrong side of the road thing is very confusing. The cars never come from the direction you expect. Second, every car is driving way too fast. Third, the roads are twisty and narrow and you spend a lot of time making up lanes as you go.
6) It turns out that I am way more of an American than I ever realized. I was prepared to go to London, fall in love with the city, and start daydreaming about becoming an expatriate or something. As much as I enjoyed the sense of history that is everywhere in London, I love my shiny new country. I love my house with central heating and multiple decent sized bathrooms. I love my laundry room, completely separate from my kitchen in every way. I love our wide roads and easy to follow traffic patterns. I love that even though I bitch about real estate prices in DC, they are nothing compared to the London prices.
7) Lilt soda is very yummy. I highly recommend it. Too bad you can't get it here.
8) They have flavors of potato chips (aka crisps) that I've never heard of before. I accidentally ate some roasted chicken ones (although they really didn't taste they way I remember chicken tasting), but I also enjoyed cheddar and onion and truly tasty salt and vinegar, and I saw many, many others.
9) What they call chips (French fries) really are super tasty. John kept saying we had to get authentic chips, and once we did, I saw why.
10) Glad as I am to be home, I'm already looking forward to going back some day. So even though I don't want to live in London - I'd have to strike it really, really rich to live there , I think - part of me did fall in love with the city.
There's more, I'm sure, but I'm still wrestling with jet lag. I'm doing better than last night, when I conked out on the couch at 10 like it was 3 am, but I'm pretty darn tired.