The thing about London is....


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Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London » Surrey Quays
September 10th 2007
Published: September 10th 2007EDIT THIS ENTRY

I feel sort of sad today. I don't know why. I guess with change comes both happiness and sadness. At least I am balanced!

The thing about London is, everyone walks hurriedly to their destination, from first thing in the morning, to the Tube, throught the Tube station, and to the next destination. As I stand in the crowded tube watching people (it's one American thing I can't seem to break, although lately I think I have become more subtle about it), I wonder, "are they thinking what I am thinking? What do they notice? Are they noticing things, too?"

I arrive at work, fashionably late, as always (I guess some things will never change), and it is both familiar and foreign. The social workers are casual, smart, and working hard. There are budgetary confinements as with any other social service agency anywhere else on the planet. I like that they attempt to take a half hour out of their day to eat together in the lunch room. I feel comfortable, even though I am learning a different side of social work.

So today, the agency is getting a new phone system. The system is American, and did not take into account that they were selling it to Britain. The administrative assistant comes in briskly and tells everyone "The pound sign means the hache sign--Americans are idiots!" Everyone kind of looks around towards me and giggles a little bit. The admin assistant swivels her head and unapologetically explains to me the fact that the system is American and did not adjust for British language. I knew eventually that would happen. As the day goes on, and I go on a home visit with a co-worker, I realize that most everyone in this office is from somewhere else--Luxembourg, Australia, to name a few....they have all gone through what I am going through right now.

This uncomfortable/comfortable dichotomy--even though there is some tension inside, it's ok to feel this way. I do miss my co-workers though.

I hurry to the Tesco to get my groceries, along with the hundreds of other people just getting off the tube. We hurry towards our different paths home, together, but just as separate as we started the day.

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