24 May 2008

First Few Days In London

I finally got to my hotel Wednesday early evening just in time to watch the UEFA Championship match of Chelsea v Man United. I was excited about watching my first football (work with me folks) match in a legit English pub (R.I.P John Bull). Naturally, most Londoners were rooting for Chelsea. Here's some pics that shows the agony of defeat from a couple patrons and an incredible hottie enjoying the thrill of victory, even though he blew his shootout goal:

Here are my completed items thus far...

1. Opened Bank Account - One would imagine this would be rather easy as banks in the US drool at the mouth with the possibility of someone opening an account at their branch. My HR Manager had to set up an appointment with the local HSBC bank and write a reference letter vouching my employment. It's not a piece of cake opening an account here. Point - US.

2. Searched and found a flat - I easily sent a good 30-35 emails to set up appointments to arrange viewings for interested places. People simply don't respond back to you, or you get fishy responses back from people out of the country wanting to rent you "their" home. Don't get me started with trying to find a place that accepts dogs either. F'gettaboutit! I saw a few places, but gladly ended up paying an agency to find my new home away from home. Point - US

3. Established a Mobile #: I got a Pay As You Go plan since I don't have a local address with a debit card, nor cell phone history here. I get my Debit card sent to me next week and after I have some history here, I'll get on a monthly contract here where I may qualify for a free XBox, Wii, PlayStation or Laptop. I haven't heard of deals like that in the US. Point - UK

4. Realized I Need To Buy Oil Stocks: The cover story of the Independent today had an interesting article about how the world is running out of it's oil reserves. These two lines blew my mind, "In Britain, the price of petrol has risen to an average...£5.15 per gallon. In the US, where drivers pay much lower prices, gasoline is more than $4(£2) a gallon." Good grief! I knew gas was more expensive here, but didn't realize it was $10.21 a gallon!! No matter if you're in the US or UK, unless you get at least 35 miles to the gallon you'll eventually have to bite the bullet or find some transportation alternatives. I'm starting to like this Underground Tube more and more. Point - UK

US 2 - UK 2

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