Days 7, 8, 9, & 10 – Malfunctioning wi-fi in Wynfrid House meant no blogs for the weekend! I’m going to try to get you all caught up.
Friday – Another day at the Interxion office followed by a night in playing cards and charades. John Duffy left us for the weekend to hang out with his friends in the Netherlands. We missed him so much and felt lost without him, so we just moped around, longing for his return.
Saturday – Anda and I went shopping along Oxford Street, which has some of the best retail options in the city. This included a visit to the infamous Zara store, as my fellow MBA students will surely remember — we reviewed the case twice. Much to our disappointment, we didn’t find the store to be all that it had been hyped up to be. Zara, a meager 2-story establishment, was just across the street from a 6-story H&M store (with greater variety and much more attractive prices). Yeah, so contrary to popular belief, Zara ain’t cheap, even in Europe. (A “stone’s throw” away from Spain.)
We stopped briefly in McDonald’s because we knew it had a “loo”, and I ordered some French fries to legitimize the visit. I didn’t want to be viewed as that typical American eating “typical” American food, so I put on my best British accent (which sounded more Australian) and asked for French fries. In the UK they’re called “chips”, but the menu referred to them as French fries. I was in a pickle there. But whatever, hopefully they thought I was a clueless Australian or at the very least, Canadian.
The next stop was Buckingham Palace, where Anda and I had an all-too-brief encounter with Team France. The guys of Team London spent more time with Team France later that evening, which I’m sure Anurag will be ecstatic to blog about!
Sunday – The whole team (minus our beloved Duffy) hopped on a double decker bus, which took us to the British Museum. This place houses the famous Rosetta Stone, which, as you can probably imagine, drew in quite the crowd. We snapped the best picture that we could manage…
Later, we discovered how ridiculously serious the English take their distinction between food to be eaten at the restaurant and food that is “taken away”. The two options are offered at drastically different prices, and if you order it as take away, but are caught slurping your take away soup in the restaurant while waiting for your teammates to complete their order, all food service operations shut down for a moment in time and you’re bluntly reminded in a shout over the counter, “EXCUSE ME, THAT WAS TAKE AWAY.” Pshh…
The next stop was Hyde Park, which has a Sunday tradition of free public speech at Speakers’ Corner. We were anticipating open debates on exciting real world issues, but were sadly disappointed with the turnout of 100% religion centric disagreements as bizarre as the horned man with a cape and pinwheels. So we just left and got some ice cream.
We strolled through Hyde Park for a bit more, and stopped for a moment to observe the ducks in the little lake in the center. Then we ran into this fine couple walking by cheerfully, hand in hand. Can you guess who it is?
Yup, that’s Bill and Hillary Clinton.
OK, so we really had a blast without Mr. Duffy, but we seriously kinda did miss him too. He came back for work Monday morning in one piece, but he refused to share his pictures. You’ll have to contact him directly for the scoop on his trip.
That’s all for the weekend adventures! Now it’s back to work for Team London!
In closing, I’ll leave you with some fancy British store fronts.