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Update 1/30, very good week, saw london, met Ania
mr_obison

Another week has come and gone, and it was a mighty good one.  I got a proposal finished up and out the door with approval from the salesman, saw a good movie, and went into London to see the sights.  So I guess you can say I was productive.  Ania was a very good guide through the streets of London, with her hubby, Sergei (sp?). 

Ania is my sister's friend who lives right next to Hyde park (been there for the last 5 yrs) and who was my guide through the city.  She and Sergei were very nice and fun to talk to. She was very good at pointing out the sights and giving pointers on what to see, when to see, and what not to see, like the London Eye.  Apparently it's very expensive to just go high up to see things you can see from other places just as well. 

We met up at Oxford circus and had a little bite to eat before heading down through the shops to piccadilly circus and the theater areas.  This is all walking, too, so as you read you'll see why Saturday was rough on the feet.  Walked around and saw some of the circus there (meaning the intersection, not the mayhem that it caused).  From there we went down to trafalger square to see the parliament district, Big Ben, the London Eye (giant ferris wheel), as well as stop to eat.  It really didn't feel like a whole day spent doing it with all of the talking and walking, but I was in the city really from 12:30 to 7:00 just walking around seeing the sights.  And that was just getting an orientation to the city!  I have yet to see any museum, gallery, or big store.  I have my work cut out for me on how to become an efficient tourist, haha.  The other big bonus from this trip is that I finally figured out the train systme, so it won't take me rediculously long times and headaches to get there.  I can be in waterloo (downtown london) in an hour by train.  Discounting the 20 minute walk from the hotel to basingstoke station, that's not too bad at all, and much better than last weekend going to Richmond (2.5 hrs to go about 3/4 the distance).  After Trafalgar square we walked across the Westminster bridge to the southbank area to look for a nice place to eat.  We ended up at a place called Doggett's.  It's a good pub with decent food and a good view over the river.  Unfortunately there is lots of construction right there, so it could have been better, but it made a good spot to get warm with food and drink before I made the trip home.  

Tomorrow I go over to Staines to meet up with one of the guys in sales, Sam, to watch Egypt in the Africa Cup against Ghana.  Should be a good game, I suppose.  It's a good chance to get out of the hotel, and the football (soccer) is starting to grow on me.  I can watch it and enjoy it, but I'm not a fan of any teams yet.  I like getting out of the hotel and with other people and be social. 

And Monday I go to look at some potential apartments to rent.  I'm trying to keep my distance to work 3 mi. or less so I can ride on a bicycle instead of driving and dealing with bad morning traffic, being right at the junction of 2 major motorways.  Funny note:  Americans give directions by major road intersections, names, directions and the like, while the Londoners have no idea what tat means.  You really have to say toward a city or a direction.  I can't just say "Chertsey is where the M3 and M25 come together."  That means nothing to some people.
I digress, I'm giving serious thought to getting a cheap bicycle to get me around while I'm here.  I think it'd be much easier to commute to work that way. 

Ok, so that's it for this weekend, I'm not sure if I talked about last weekend.  I went go-karting with a guy from applications, Nathan, and some of his friends on Saturday, which was a blast. Out of 8, I came in 4th, so I'm pretty happy, considering the one who got 1st is a rally driver.  The race was set up with a 10 minute qualifyer, which they had a computer failure on, so we couldn't get our times to really qualify, but it set us up to know how the cars handle.  The race itself (after a few minutes rest) was 15 minutes timed, the one with the most laps in that time wins.  I did have the second fastest lap of our heat though, so that's fun. 

After going home to clean up, we went out to Richmond (remember what i said about how long it took me to get there.  The return trip was just as bad) to get some drinks and dinner.  That was really nice.  We went to this place called Strada for some good italian eats, then ended up in a bar called Revolution to end the night.  We were there until about 11 or so beofre we had to catch the train home.  I didn't get in until 2 AM!  But got to sleep in some on Sunday and be ready for work Monday. 
That was really the only interesting thing that was missed last weekend.

That's it for this update unless I have anything else to add when I think of it.  Check the Flickr page too. 

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