Today I had to go into the city to get my national insurance number, I decided to make the most of the trip and met my brother for lunch. I got the train to the city, found the job centre where my appointment was, dealt with English bureaucracy (terribly inefficient) and got told it will take 4 weeks to process the application.
I had a wander around Liverpool Street which seems to be where a lot of offices are. I liked the vibe and can see myself working in this area. The contrast of modern and old buildings is great, I saw the Gherkin (not sure if its real name) and checked out a street market.
After that I got the tube to Oxford Street and got lost down the backstreets of Soho. I was going to check out an art gallery but couldn’t find it. I did find lots of little shops, cafes and bars. I imagine its quite lively at night, but at 11am on a rainy weekday it was fairly quiet. I made my way to Piccadilly where I met my brother for lunch. His office has a view of Piccadilly square which is quite cool, the area is an interesting mix of tourists and suits. We met his girlfriend for lunch in a pub and after that I did a bit of window shopping and got the tube home.
So, first day sightseeing in London. I’ve been to London a few times so it wasn’t new to me, but I’ve not been here for years and it was fun to play tourist. My plan in the next few weeks is to check out the free museums and art galleries as I have a feeling that when I start working the idea of playing tourist will quickly loose its appeal.