Greetings from London!
Ladies and gents, I've had my feet on English-speaking soil for about 3 days, and am having a blast. There is the incredible missing of the husband going on, but overall it feels kind of good to be back in a place where I can express myself freely without people scoffing at my French mistakes. And I finally have some spice in my life...London's curry restaurants and the supermarkets have allowed me to eat my fill of spicy goodness and bring some back home for cooking in my own tiny Paris apartment.
I really like London. Maybe that will change after frequent trips back here, but I am so enjoying the variety. London just seems to be more open to different boutiques, different styles, different tastes than Paris. Here, you can actually run down the street and no one looks at you like you're a crazy arse. Clothes are colorful, shoes are sparkly and high, and the food ain't as bad as those who live across the Channel would have you believe. Cabbies have provided hilarious conversation, and waiters work for tips. One young guy gave me a beer tasting when I explained that in Paris...good beer was hard to come by. Taking pity on me, he brought around several glasses of varying brews and let me have at it. I suddenly was basking in fantastic customer service.
Office impressions are that here, people really foster professional relationships. There are book clubs, charitable activities, on-site exercise classes, group activities that don't involve talking about work non-stop. People actually share their personal stories and seem to care about who you are as a person. London has a huge bike to work incentive, so you often see people zipping by on bikes after work. These are just my first few days...but damn am I loving the honeymoon. I still can't get over the fact that there is a nice gym here that doesn't look like you could get staph from it. Oh and garbage bags are changed every day. You might think that is a random detail, but just work in a place where garbage bags aren't changed on a daily basis...you'll feel me. I will say that French workers have better benefits, but it seems like the Brits have a better work environment.
I have found some good places to eat and drink. I will share eventually. And in Paris, I have so much to share with you guys. But alas, I'll have to tackle that from my home computer in gay Pair-ee. Cheers y'all!