Day #3, Mission Incomplete and Caffeine Fixes

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July 18, 2016

The breakfast is served at 7:15am on weekdays, but the jetlag or my-so-not-morning-person-habit got the better of me, so I skipped it again. I wonder if I will ever get to have breakfast while I stay here.

It was super sunny today, again. Who said that I have to carry around umbrella with me all the time in England? It’s 4th day that I am in London, and it’s 4th sunny day.

But my day was not as bright as sunshine. My mission to open a bank account in the UK didn’t go well as I hoped. I went to two different banks, and both said that I need a proof of address or a job certificate, and the letter from my hostel is not good enough.

Second mission was not very successful either. I called to apply for the UK NI number (National Insurance Number – you need it to work in the UK), and they said I need to have an address where I will stay at least 6 weeks from the moment of application, because the process takes 6 weeks and they will send me the number by post. I wasn’t sure if I would stay at the hostel for 6 weeks for the NI number, so I hung up.

Now I need to reset the priority. My previous plan was to open a bank account first and receive all my money that I left behind in Korea, apply for NI number, look for a job and a flat. But now, I can’t do the first two, I surely need to find a job and a flat of my own first.

But the question is, how can I get a flat without a bank account? Maybe some landlords will accept cash payment? Not sure about that. Well, maybe getting a job would be a lot easier and faster without a permanent address and a bank account? In any case, I will need to move my arse.

With no mission complete, I felt like some kind of recharge, i.e. caffeine fix. I went into a cosy looking café that I spotted on the way to the park yesterday, ordered eggs on toast with tomatoes and bacon, and a cup of Americano (apparently, Londoners use this word for Long Black in Australia, I wonder if Americans call it Americano in America? I should ask Jane about it when I see her next time). Now, I should talk about the quality of this café. OK, the price was reasonable, but I would happily put a few more quids to have quality food and service elsewhere. They brought me the dish without tomatoes, and when I complained about it, they gave me uncooked halved cherry tomatoes on a plate. And scrambled eggs were very much average and the bacon was not crispy enough. So, the points are (X/5): The deco and atmosphere 5, taste of coffee 3, food 2, service 2, price 4.

Back in my room, I spent the whole afternoon searching for jobs and sending CVs.

Over dinner, I met some new faces. Alvaro, a very young Spanish guy doing English course for 2 months, Stéphanie from France doing internship for her study in International Trading, Nevin, born in a Mauritian family in Australia and working as an intern at a hospital. Jane was there too, and we talked about how expensive to study and to see a doctor in the US and how good the social system is in European countries. We were talking a lot, and the staff had to kick us out to close the canteen. Now I understand why French people take so long time to have a meal. I thought that was because they had at least 5 courses to finish in a meal, but actually we didn’t need 5 courses to spend 2 hours on the dinner table. When you have good company to talk, you can spend a whole night over a drink.

I am done for today, off to the shower.

Good night, everyone.

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