London Here I come!!

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In the land of plotlessness

So as a part of trying to meet new people I joined meetup. Meetup is a site that hosts groups and people that have similar interest basically meetup. One of the ones that I went to was called “Classic books I should read”. Sounds pretty cool, right? The first meetup was last week and the book was Catch-22.

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I went and got the book from the library and let me tell you it was dull! I could barley make it through the book. Every time I would start to read it again I was falling asleep. I think that the worst part of the book was that it had no plot. Basically it was this guy complaining. Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE to complain, but I also like books that have a plot. I didn’t even finish the book but I went to the meeting anyways. It was nice to talk to people that read the same book. Some people had interesting insight, but still the whole no plot thing killed the book for me. And to top it all of I had to pay .88 pence as a fine to the library for returning the book late. The next book is 1984, I have been assured that this book has a plot.

The plotlessness followed me to my next adventure. Groupon had some musical tickets on sale. It was pretty cheap so I thought, sure why not. I went to see “Let it Be”.

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Its a musical based on the Beatles. So I thought it would be like Ma Mia or American Idiot which I loved. But boy was I disappointed. Even though I had really good seats nothing could rescue this play.

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Basically there was no story, no plot, it was just the guys up there playing music. Look, I like the Beatles’ music, but really it was like going to a concert except that the singers didn’t have great voices and it was mostly boring. It was so bad that I left the musical at the half time. You read that right, even though I paid for it I left the musical.

The highlight of my week came when a fire started next door. Since I am oh so important I get to sit next to the window so I got a front row seat to the fire.

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Not sure what the construction people where doing, but at least it was entertaining to see them try to put the fire out.

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Surprise here I come

So a while back Yaeli mentioned that for her birthday they are all going to a hotel in Tel Aviv for the weekend. Naturally the first thought that went through my head was that wow I live so close wouldn’t it be cool if I went? And then the planning began…

I first recruited Merav to be my alley and she proved to be quit useful:) First she kept me updated on the date of the weekend. Once that was set, I convinced Aba to help me by issuing my ticket which saved me some $$ which is always great. Once I had the tickets the fun began. Wouldn’t it be more fun if it was a surprise? Well yes it was fun:)

So I (and Merav and Aba and Ima and Inbar) all kept our mouth shut as conversations about the weekend went on over viber and boy was it fun! To make the weekend even better it turns out to be savta hava’s birthday so I got a family meal out of it too!

So after a fun long day at work where we had a four hour long meeting followed by me being nice to people I hoped on the train and made my way to Heathrow. After a nice four a flight where I felt like a sardine I made it to tel aviv. Through prior planning and five million emails it was decided that I would make it to the hotel by myself. It was entertaining but I made it! And then the fun of revealing the surprise began!

I won’t lie it’s heart warming at how happy everyone was to see me. After spending a lot of time with people that don’t me, or I should say aren’t lucky enough to know me yet, it was nice to be with family who love me for me and know me and I can be me. One of the best parts of living in London is that I can be so close to the fam. Granted I wish it wasn’t so much $$ to go see them but it’s really nice they are so close! I’m excited that I will get to see them more than once a year!

Anyhow, we spent Friday eating cookies, talking, sleeping, and looking at the beach. Perfect day!!

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And then Friday night we all got together at rinats to celebrate savtas birthday and it was fun! It was awesome to see everyone! And the food was great, not for my diet, but great for my taste buds!

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Shabbat was filled with more family time and more eating and more feeling loved:)

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After that I headed over to spend time with Saba Israel and savta hava. I’m really glad that I got to spend sometime with them. It was then that I learned that earth shattering things happen and people don’t notice. You are probably scratching your head and wondering what happened. Well Saba and savta bought new plates!!!

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Now to some this might seem trivial, but they have had the same pink plates since before I was born, still don’t understand what happened there.

Sadly Sunday was my last day BUT I got to have breakfast with Esti and Udi since they where in the neighborhood! It was a fun unplanned surprise. Then I sadly has to go back to London. I like it here buts it’s alway sad to say bye. No worries I’ll be back in three weeks since Udi has decided to throw a little party I’m invited to:D

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Back in the good old US of A

After being gone for soooo long (two months) I made a nice appearance back in America. My first stop was the parental units digs (see I’m cool). It was nice to see aba and ima. I even had some fun alone time with Ima. We went to Beffs and had some super unhealthy food. I even had the privilege of going through all my stuff too see what was going to be moving to Inbar and see what was going back with me to London. Naturally I made a mess, aba was nice enough to pack it all up again:) And then the real fun started… we and by we I mean aba got to drive to OH. Aba and ima got be up at the crack ass of dawn and we started the really really long journey to OH with the UHAUL. Despite what we thought there was lots and lots of snow. There was a point in the trip where you couldn’t even see the road ahead.
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But no worries 12 hours later we made it to OH:)

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And then we unpacked the truck… and now Inbars house is a mess. I was going to help clean it up, but it was really more fun to sit around and do nothing and spend time with Inbar. And to top it all off, Inbar made me (us) homemade Pasta. How cool is that?!. Although in my short visit I was able to ruin her extension cord. Never let me blow snow again.

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Then I headed over to see Jen. It was nice to see her and hang out with puppies, lots of puppies, and relax. Sadly on Sunday I had to get back to the real world and go to training. So Jen drives me to Deloitte University (DU), and it looks like a compound, like a cult compound down to the guard station.

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Overall my time DU was. The whole compound and concept is pretty interesting. The basically built a conference centre just for Deloitte. All US training is held there and there is a hotel on the premises. So basically you spend the whole week there and your hotel and training are in one space. Way to get people to network. The interesting thing is that everything there is branded, down to the water bottle.

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Merrrry Christmassss (ok a little late but totally counts)

So Im a little late but whatever. So I had the fun of spending Christmas in London this year. It was fun, not the same as spending it in Israel but still fun. There where a lot of decorations all around since I moved here, mostly it was just fun to see.

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One of the cool things in the UK is that they have these Christmas crackers. They are these little things that two people hold and then they tug. Kind of like a turkey wishbone. The person who gets the larger part gets the prize inside. The prizes can range from some small token to really expensive ones. Either way, its really fun.

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I was hoping to go to Christmas Eve mass at Westminster Abbey since we are so close to each other but alas you need to get tickets for that and I didn’t act fast enough:( However, I spent Christmas volunteering. I had assumed that they would be short volunteers since it was such a big holidays but they had plenty. I decided to spend my time at Crisis at Christmas. Its a pretty cool organization, what they do is they take over buildings that are empty over the Christmas to New Year period (schools, abandoned buildings, etc.) and they set up a shelter. People that normally live on the street can come and spend the holiday period in a warm shelter. As a part of the shelter they offer some services such as hair cuts, showers, doctors visits, and resources to get off the streets. It was really cool. I spent 8 hours there on the 25th and the 26th and it was pretty awesome just to see it all come together. Will deff do this again next year.

The day after Christmas here is called Boxing day. The only thing that I could compare it too is Black Friday. There are sales EVERYWHERE. I headed over to Oxford Street, the main shopping street before heading over the shelter just to see what it was like. And you know what it was like? Insanity! People where waiting in line just to get into the stores. Once you made it inside it was crazy stuff was just thrown everywhere and people where grabbing. But in true British fashion there was a nice long que of people waiting to pay.

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I went to visit my desktop

I went to visit my desktop! My desktop before Microsoft went all crazy and my new job hated desktop backgrounds that weren’t a solid background used to be Stonehenge. As you can imagine I used to spend a lot of time starring at it. So when groupon had a deal to go to see it I jumped up at the chance.

I hopped on the coach (it’s what the call busses) and managed to get a prime seat! Right at the top in front

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After a short one hour ride filled with a tour guide who likes to hear his own voice and comment about trees and super markets we got there. As did the rain. In fact it poured the entire time I was there:( I took a whole bunch of pictures on my camera so at some point they will make it up here but for now we have this:

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Look a I took a selfie:) after reading almost everything they had it appears that they still have no idea what the place was for or why the build it. As such, I have theorized that some drunk guy at a pub 3000 years ago bet his mate that he could build it bigger than him, and since then they have been making fun of everyone.

We then proceeded to bath. At which point I pulled an Ima and started chatting with the nice lady sitting next to me who informed that bath was where Jane Austin wrote some of her novels. Maybe I should read them. The lady was really nice. Turns out she room six months off from her life and was traveling the world. Sounded pretty cool. At least it stopped raining by the time we got there. I guess the place is known for the hot springs but since I didn’t bring my toggs (what the Australian lady next to me called a bathing suit) I couldn’t go in. I spent the next two hours walking around, it’s a pretty nice place to visit. Took some great pictures which might make it up here at some point well see.

Overall it was a nice day trip and I’m glad I went!

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Udi and Esti come for a visit:)

Udi and Esti came to visit me last weekend. Ok maybe I should rephrase that, they came for vacation and I just happened to be here.

I took a day off and spent the day walking around London with them:) We even went to the London eye which is where most of the pics are from.

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I took some awesome pics of the happy couple but… It’s on Udis phone you will just have to trust me that they are really good pics. We also walked to the palace and around oxford street. And yes, Esti (and I guess Udi) LOVED prime mark. Hahaha

The next day Udi and Esti hit up the markets while I waited for my awesome couch which finally arrived!

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Afterwords we headed over to borough market and had an awesome dinner and Jaimie Oliver place it was pretty awesome!

The next day we hit up Greenwich to see the zero marker for time.

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More excitingly we ate some awesome grub right outside the line!

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Just looking at all that yummyness I want more! It was some pretty awesome pie!!

Overall it was really fun! It was nice to see London through Udis eyes since he used to live here. And even more it was fun to spend some time with these two:)

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Happy Hanukkah and thanksgiving

I survived my first holiday:)

I won’t lie I was really worried about spending the holiday in London, all by my lonesome. I kept going back in my mind to the time I spent in India and spent the holiday by myself so I purposely set my expectations low. I need not have worried it was all good. Surprisingly the largest menorah in Europe was outside my window:)

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How cool is that?! The second night of the holiday the London Jewish community had a fun party is the square. They had music and more importantly they had sufganiot! They weren’t as yummy as the ones in Israel but they hit the spot.

I also lit my menora and without Inbar there I had to pick the colors myself but I think I did pretty well! Judge for yourself.

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Overall it was a pretty fun holiday! It was also a nice surprise that one day in the office I walked into the breakout area and the Jewish network had provided some more sufganiot

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And speaking of work, we had a little celebration at work for thanksgiving. Now you know I don’t really care about thanksgiving but it was nice to have a pot luck. It was a nice distraction from not spending it with Inbar looking at Black Friday adds.

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PS meet my new coworkers

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I joined the gym:)

You should all be very proud of me, I joined the gym. As its the gym, and you aren’t allowed to take any pictures, this will be a dry post.

Anyhow, there is a gym in the office (well in on of the five buildings that the firm occupies). Its a nice little, focus on the little, gym. Its meant only for Deloitte employees which has its nice and its bad. The nice is that it is highly discounted, which as you can expect I LOVE. Its a bit small for a company that employees 5,000 people but whatever. I have decided to become the early bird and get to the gym at 7. Yes you read that right, at 7 in the morning! Thankfully its nice and empty then.

One of the other great benefits of the gym is that every six weeks you get a free one hour session with a  trainer. Now I know what you are thinking, its one of those things where they get you a free one and then you have to pay to go again. That’s what I thought but not really, its kind of nice. So I signed up (its free after all) and had my meeting with Sophie at 7 in the morning. She was really nice and very cheery for 7 in the morning and turns out that she is from Boston (UK) hahahaha. Sophie is pretty nice and she wrote up a whole training program for me. So now I walk around the gym every day with my little piece of paper and follow her instructions. I have even ventured into the meathead territory to use the weight machines (torture devices whatever you want to call them). So far I have lost one pound. I know super exciting.

One of the bad sides of going to the gym at work is that other people I work with also go the gym. I mean really, is there anything better then running into your new co-workers when you are nice and sweaty and want to die from pain!? I have been lucky enough to run into three other mangers in my group. I did a very good job of ignoring them.

And this is the funniest part of the entire gym, the gym is one floor below the front door. So naturally…. everyone takes the elevator one floor down/up. Redic? I think so. Just because you have to swipe your card four times between floor one and floor -1 doesn’t mean anything.

Anyhow, next time we talk, ask me how the gym is going! This must continue:)

 

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Week one of work

So after being unemployed for two weeks I started my new job on Monday:)

I won’t lie the first two days were kind of boring. They spent a lot of time telling us how great the company is. It’s like they where recruiting me to work at a company I already work at. But either way I guess it’s real:

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Wed was my first day on the floor. It was nice to meet everyone. To my horror it’s a really really open office plan and to top it all off I sit next to a window which has a lot of activity. This is not good for my lack of attention span. Or I’ll look at it positively as this will help me learn how to focus. They are currently tearing down the blinding next door so it nice loud and distracting.

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My new co-workers where nice enough to invite me to lunch so I got to hear about what the office is really like. That being said, surprisingly, or maybe not so surprisingly some things never change and the same stuff that people complain about here people complained about in Boston. The rest of the week was full of training and boardem although doing independence training with a British accent is pretty cool. I also somehow got lost going home one night and found this:

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Isn’t the London eye awesome?

This weekend was full of mostly shopping to get the apartment ready. Basically went and sat on a bunch of sofas and looked at silverware. I also found some nice sheets so I finally have a nice bed.

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That’s all the pictures I have right now of the apartment since the rest was such a mess. Yet again, I got lost and found china town on my walk.

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Apparently it’s right near my house the only problem with that is that I found custard buns:) good for my sweet tooth bad my waist line

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Overall good first week, excited for the week ahead except for the long training.

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I’m officially a Londoner (I think)

It’s official I have been here a week, and what a week it has been!

But let’s go back to before that. The week between my last day and leaving was hectic to say the least. Lots and lots to do and little time. And to top it all off I had to deal with my visa issues. Long story short I didn’t get my visa (and passport) until the morning before my flight! Crazy!

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Although I was lucky enough to have Aba and Ima come and help pack! Boy oh boy where they a G-d send!!!! Could not have done it without them. They mostly did most of the packing while I looked on in pure amazement. One long night later we had a full truck and we were on our way to store things back in Albany.

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Getting in the plane was mostly weird, I can’t believe that what started as a random phone call back in May ended up with me picking up everything and uprooting my life to the other side of the world. Let the adventure begin!!

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We (Aba Inbar and I) landed in London in the early morning hours and what I found out was quit normal waited for the driver. I get the sense that people here are late a lot. We drove over to the temp housing which is quit nice and then took Aba back to the train so he could catch his flight and had a good old English breakfast on the way (it had baked beens and everything! In an attempt to stay awake and not give into the jet lag we walked around a little. We just happen to somehow end up in the shopping district (we are girls after all) and found a nice super über busy cheap place where most likely I will buys lots of stuff.

The next day we hit the floor running to find somewhere to live. We followed some advice I got and just looked up a neighborhood (Inbar did most of this while I was sleeping) and started walking around. We found a letting agent (real estate agent for you Americans) and just walked in, and within minutes we where looking at apartments! Pretty much was what we did for the next couple days. I found apartment I liked and all of sudden the landlord demanded all 12 months of rent within the first 4 months. Insane! The letting agent said it was quiet normal, rubbish I tell you:) Long story short, I found another even better place. I’m pretty excited for it and I got it on Monday more details plus pics to come.

In between all of this flat hunting we managed to see quiet a bit of London. AND we got to see a show:) we went to see Matilda which was great! I really liked it!

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We also got to see coven garden and the palace and another place where we ate food (as you can tell I’m really good with names). We also went to visit the rosata stone which was pretty awesome. To top it all off we also had enough time to make a day trip out to IKEA. I did a pretty good job restraining at buying a lot but it was fun to go and look at lots and lots of furniture.

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Then I sadly had to say goodbye to Inbar but… I think I’m ready for what is about to come.

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