I brought my trusty map. I always carry it with me. Not only is is useful, it's a lot of fun. I enjoy passing roads and looking up my location, just to see how much further I've gone since I last checked. I'm not sure if I think it will make my trip any faster, it just gives me some sort of weird satisfaction. Unfortunately, my map habit is kind of embarrassing. There's no better way to look like a tourist than by pulling out your map and staring at it, usually quite perplexed-like, for extended periods of time. And the size of mine adds to the problem. While it stores as a nice little sqaure, it folds out into a not-so-discreet HUGE rectangle. However, I have come up with a great solution: I unfold my map INSIDE my purse and look at it, all the while pretending to be looking for something, like chap-stick. Then, once I've figured out what I need to know, I raise my eyebrows and nod my head in an "AHA!" sort of way, pull out and apply the "lost" chap-stick, and then continue on my way. (Note: If you are going to do this, try to switch up the item you're looking for. People around you might think it's strange that you have to search for and apply chap-stick every minute or so. Other suggested items: gums, sunglasses, sanitizer, maybe a q-tip...the possibilities are endless.) It's a little tough, but I only unfold to reveal the area I need.
An hour, quite a few map checks and some very smooth lips later, I made it to my future apartment. It seems to be pretty nice. It's in a clean, safe part of town (although you have to walk through an area that seemed like Turkey or Iraq or some other Middle Eastern country to get there) and has a gated entrance. It's no Hoosier Courts at Henderson, but it will certainly do. I'm very excited to move in because I'll be living with three other American interns and I'm just tired of the hostel life. Getting ready for work out of a suitcase every morning is getting to be kind of difficult.
I decided to take the tube back. Not because my feet hurt or anything, but because I felt I really should time the journey for work purposes. I wouldn't want to misjudge it and be late! It took just under 20 minutes to get to Oxford Circus, the center of busy Oxford Street. This means it will take no more than 30 minutes to get to work. A little longer than the current three minute commute, but I can live with that if it means having my own bathroom.
I decided that while I was on Oxford, near so many stores, I might as well look for some "skinny jeans." I think it's safe to say I don't really have the ideal "skinny jeans" shape. I've always been a bit...athletically built. Nonetheless, I have been eating less, walking a lot, and, truth be told, I've been a bit self-conscious walking around in my flares while the rest of London confidently strides about in their ankle hugging pants. So, I grabbed the nearest pair that looked like they'd at least snap and headed to the dressing room (or, as I now like to call it, the "box of shame"). I needn't go into details or be too graphic-- let's just say that getting the"skinny jeans" on (or at least halfway up) and then back off was comparable to a work-out and I left the store sweating, panting, and humbled. To make myself feel a little better, I, you guessed it, grabbed a bite to eat and began to search for some socks.
Not a bad day.