Hot Tips from Afar

January 11, 2006|Posted in: Uncategorized

Missive from Mia

So i have a job! well…kind of.

Lindsay and i ventured out yesterday. our first stop was the pub right on the corner from our house, called “The White Horse” and it’s actually the best pub in london. no, really. it was just voted that! we stopped in to drop our CVs off, on the way to the tub and Jane, the manager, happened to be there. so she sat down with us and had a pseudo interview.

At first she said, we don’t normally hire in pairs, and we were kind of like, well we weren’t expecting an interview. but as we went on, she said, “well, maybe i’ll take two…” and to give her a call later. of course my cell phone chose that day to not work allllll day and so i couldn’t call. but lindsay did and she is actually at her training day as i write this. however, i did stop in and leave Jane a message last night and lindsay said she asked about me and would pass the word along that i have a shit phone.

I plan to stop back in later so that i can speak with her in person. she mentioned me having a training day tomorrow (thursday) so we’ll have to see. after all of that, though, lindsay and i split up and i went to covent garden, picadilly circus and fulham broadway to put in CVs. much harder than expected. i only got about 8 out (urban outfitters, burberry, a couple of theaters, several e-mailed office jobs) and not many people said they were actually “recruiting” but just accepting CVs in case a vacancy pops up. a little frustrating because since the white horse is so famous, it’s very very busy and very hard work for very little money. i’m only going to be making about £5.10/hr plus measly tips. i get one meal a day (IF i work a lunch shift) and technically, it is a live-in job so we are exploring if both of us work there, we might go ahead and rent the upstairs room which is only £20 a week plus one meal a day. much more affordable.

The pub is also famous because of its extensive drink list. there are like 50 wines, 10 ales ON TAP, 50 beers…blah blah…the list goes on. and they quiz each other because we have to know where and how it was brewed, what the alc. content is etc. LOTS of information. there are definitely ups and downs about it but i figure that i need to just take it because my funds are diminishing and i don’t know for sure from anyone else. i also have about a month of training/settling in/seeing if we agree before i have to sign a contract (they want us for all 6 months).

The other thing is, i won’t be out riding the tube and walking among the city as much because i’ll be working and living in the same place. and while that saves me tube money, i actually really enjoy hopping about the place. i got off at picadilly and walked all the way through oxford circus, though soho’s chinatown (and by all the west end theaters!) and ended up in covent garden. it was really delightful. cold but fun to be out exploring and gathering my bearings and clutching my little CVs! like i said: lots and lots to think about.

That’s mostly on my mind now. but once that’s in, i don’t know. maybe i’ll be settling in more. one more cool thing about the pub is that there are over 60 members of staff (because there’s a restaurant upstairs and like 3 menus — very serious) and they are from allll over. there are like 3 or 4 other american girls .. a couple from southern california. there are 2 french guys and of course a handful of brits. even some polish and tazmanians. crazy! but fun, lots of young cool people, i think.

what else? oh yes, i almost started a fire in amanda’s house. in america, we take the kettle and we put it on the stove to heat it. here, their kettles are heated up on their own plate that just plugs into the wall. i thought that was just a resting plate and you still had to heat it on the stove. the bottom is plastic — fa foom! flames, everywhere! scary. good thing i didn’t walk away cuz curtains and the wooden cupboard woulda been next! amanda just laughed, thank god. and went out and bought another, which of course i had to pay for. cha-ching — ouch. £20. that’s like a week’s worth of eating. definitely better take the job at the pub.

and i’m off! i’m going to charing cross road! i want to check out that book you told me about (aunt nancy mentioned it as hilarious, too) and i just want to meander a bit more. i’m meeting up with linds again at 3 and we’re going to go get her sister from the train station and hopefully go see a show tonight. there are also some great ballets, like giselle and sylvia, which i hope to catch while here. movin’ out is coming here too, which lindsay hasn’t seen so i am definitely there.

Of course, a show tonight would mean that we would miss Soapstar Superstar, which may not be possible! it’s basically the british version of american idol but it’s more twisted and funny and the people on it are all stars on soaps here. it’s hilarious. i love love love it. also: i saw a preview for Eastenders and thought of you.

as always, thinking of you. loads of kisses. talk soon.

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Julia Park Tracey is an award-winning journalist, author, and blogger. She is the author of "Veronika Layne Gets the Scoop" and "Veronika Layne Has a Nose for News" (rep'd by Booktrope). She is the Poet Laureate of Alameda, California. She's also the conservatrix of The Doris Diaries, the diaries of her great-aunt Doris Bailey Murphy. Her articles have appeared in Thrillist, Quill, Paste, San Francisco Chronicle, and in many magazines; her latest poetry appears in The East Bay Literary review.

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