Today, my friend Gabi who was visiting me, my flatmate Jo and some other friends went to the Westminster Abbey Evening Service. Obviously, we were tourists and no regulars but they let us in. This church does not exclude the nonbelievers. Reverend Edward J Lewis conducted a fresh and short service - surprisingly entertaining. Also, his sermon was quite modern. In it he even quoted Henry Ford:
"Whether you think you can do it or not, you are always right."
I have been living in a couple of crazy flat-sharing communities before. The first and maybe craziest one: of course my own family. In 2005, I moved to Nottingham to live with people among who I was the only European (back then Romania had not joined the EU, yet). In Muenster, I lived with Michael who constantly reminded me that I should follow his example and study instead of going out far too often - we were both finishing our degrees back then. 2007, I spent two months with Raquel's family as a kind of adopted child - I realised that when Mama Carmen offered to wash my underwear the day I moved in. Last summer in DC I shared a room (!) with a girl from Mumbai and then later with my blue French Sophie. In Hamburg - for the first time in my life - I actually lived alone! And I survived.
Now, I live with three girls in a beautiful flat in West Ken - and I am loving it!
Jo, who went flat hunting for our precious home is our mum although being the youngest one among us. She is only 20 but already working for Freshfields, Bakers and the lot. I know she will be either First Lady or President herself one day. She is also responsible for all the Ivy League student champagne brunches on hangover Sunday mornings. For now, she teaches me how to cook delicious meals and always takes care of my gluten free diet. I am gonna miss her loads when she leaves at the end of this month.
Katharina, who does not want to be called "Kati" is my next door neighbour. She is the best conspirator whenever you are on a dodgy Sherlock Holmes' mission and you don't know where to start from. Also, she puts you down to earth again whenever you get caught in a self-induced drama which happens probably once a week to either one of us.
Halloooo? Ashley is our Princeton princess from Texas, Houston! She takes care that we speak English or Chinese only. She is a crazy red haired girl who plans to go into the film business. We share some future dream in which I am going to provide her with a screenplay she is gonna turn into a great film. Maybe I could write about my encounter with David Hasselhoff or George W. Bush who she both knows through her parents' country club. Let's see!
Ashley (right) with her German boot camp drill instructors...
Especially when they track my personal performance, e. g. whenever I post a blog I can check how many ppl clicked on it and what browser they used, where they came across my blog and where they come from themselves...
I started measuring my blog's performance on 26 June 2008. My Spanish friend Gus told me how to do it.
Since then my blog had a total number of 3,173 page views up till now. The busiest day so far was: 24 December 2008 with 105 page views I guess you must have been quite bored on Christmas...
So, where do my visitors come from?
Here is the top ten: 1. Germany 2,300 72.5 % 2. United States 368 11.6 % (that's my DC friends) 3. United Kingdom 206 6.5 % (my old Notts buddies and new London mates) 4. Spain 103 3.2 % (Raquel & Co.) 5. Italy 20 0.6 % (Jendrik is now interning in Milan and must be quite bored) 6. France 19 0.6 % 7. Canada 18 0.6 % 8. Switzerland 17 0.5 % (thx Alex) 9. Belgium 14 0.4 % (Ellen?) 10. Australia 12 0.4 % (Steffi is currently an assistant teacher in Aussie)
Keywords that ppl use to find my page: 1. scribo 2. hamburg 3. augenringe (dark circles around the eyes) :) 4. pecsipedia (which indicates my blog has a good SEO) 5. getreideprodukte (corn products)
So, as you can see, webstats tell a lot! Even when you don't leave a comment, I can find out if you have been there lately... and you can, too! Just click at the small webstats icon on the bottom of the right column.
Pepsi hat in Argentinien eine Kampagne gestartet und sich selbst umbenannt: in Pecsi - das sagen 25 % aller Argentinier ohnehin zu dem Softdrink. Im Pecsipedia gibt es noch viele andere Wörter, die lustig ausgesprochen werden.
I know my posts have been quite lame lately - don't worry my non-virtual life hasn't...
As my wise boss told me once that blogs have to be as clean as business cards, I spare you the adventures of last weekend. Plus, there should be a reason for you to call me and keep this a bidirectional conversation anyway.
I went to an art gallery opening on Kingsland road today. Hansel, my new Kiwi friend, hooked me up with a bunch of his international friends and we enjoyed some free wine and weird art in Shoreditch together. Then, we went to a great but cheap Vietnamese food place with glutenfree dishes and byo policy.
London is the biggest city in Europe and the 19th biggest city in the world (says wiki). Still, there is one thing that makes you crazy if you have been living in similar big cities before.
It's really hot in the tube, although there is no real summer in London. But air conditioning is not really included in the ticket, so you'll get a summer feeling whenever you are not alone in the wagon.
Free education on the go. Wherever you go: grab a free metro paper. It might help you not get bored on the loooooong way through London. And you pick up easily on what's going on here: Amy, Becks, Harry, Iraq, swine flu...
Also, I love the irony! You have been kept waiting for no reasons for 20 minutes for the next tube that's supposed to go every three minutes and they will inform you happily that "all London underground lines are operating on a good service"?
It is Saturday night, you have been partying and now you want to go home. Take the tube? Impossible, cause it's not running anymore. Not even during the weekends. So, you have to get accustomed to another map - the bus map with different names for the stops. Busses go to the city centre first and then spread across London. So, it takes quite a while to get where you actually want to go. And on the way, watch out that no one pukes at your shoes (already happened on my first night out!)
I met my really nice colleagues but I did not manage to remember all their names, yet, so I have to figure out away how to talk to them without addressing them for the moment.
The canteen provides really nice gluten free food and serves coffee and tea all day.
My colleague David who i am working with is really cool and I will be working with him on the good pub guide. So I am actually working on two things I really like: online communities and British pubs (although I cannot drink beer anymore...).
About gpg: "Now entering it’s 27th year, The Good Pub Guide remains Britain’s bestselling travel guide. The only truly independent guide of its kind, its comprehensive updates, meticulous attention to detail and countless reader reports ensure that only the very best of the nation’s watering holes make the cut."
If you want to find out more about it, join us on facebook or follow us on twitter.
Yesterday, I finally arrived in London for good. No more comparisons to last summer in DC or what could have happened in Palo Alto if... LONDON its gonna be and I like it!
During the day I went with Jo and her friend Lars to Spitalfields Market at Liverpool Street Station. Its a place where creative ppl stroll around. The market was actually not happening that day but we had a weird iced tea in a funky café and watched the folks who passed us by.
After, we went to Regent's Park where we had a nice picnic with some LSE rich kids. Right there and then, I decided NOT to send my kids to a private school - at least not until they developed some character...
At night, I met with a friend who showed me Shoreditch - his favourite place to go out at night and I fell in love with that area: its like my fav area "Sternschanze" in Hamburg. People were having pints sitting on the street, getting drunk, having fights, enjoying their night out. The area looks a bit dodgy at first - totally opposite of West Ken where I live.
Yesterday night I managed to get home like I was born in London. I took the night bus to Oxford Circus and then swapped busses to get home. In between I had two hot hash browns (Mc D gluten free breakfast) - almost as tasty as a "German" Dönertüte. I arrived at Kensington Olympia at 5:30 and decided to cancel our Sunday champagne brunch.
Meine Wände sind noch recht kahl... von daher habe ich beschlossen, wieder eine Postkartenaktion zu starten - vierte Auflage! ;)
Für alle die das Verfahren noch nicht kennen: ab sofort bekommt jeder, der mir eine Postkarte schickt, einen festen Platz in meinem Zimmer und eine Postkarte zurück (sobald ich eure Adresse habe, am Besten per Email an: KatrinSchmidt84(ät)gmail.com).
Hier ist meine Adresse:
Katrin Schmidt 17a Fitzgeorge Avenue W14 0SY London UK
1st day: getting settled 1st mission: finding a store with glutenfree food (24h big Tesco, mins walking distance) = accomplished! 2nd mission: getting a new UK simcard, prepaid and as cheap as possible (tesco mobile) = finally accomplished after arguing with the woman at the service desk that my phone is not simlocked and I won't need to buy a new one and with the cashier that that I can top it up right here and there.... 3rd mission: finding the cheapest option for me to travel throughout London (oyster card) = accomplished - but is it really the cheapest? 4th mission: meeting with Anis, the Maltesian friend I met in DC last summer
We had a coffee at Coffee Republic (chain of course). Later that day, I met with Jo cause we were invited to a roof top barbecue of one of her friends. 26°C and roof top barbecue certainly made me miss DC less. This summer seemed to have potential!
The following day, Anis and I went to chill in Hyde Park listening to a free Reggae concert. Later that night he introduced me to his girlfriend and classmates, a quite lovely international bunch of ppl. How I missed that! We had totally glutenfree food at an Ecuadorian place near Holloway Road station. Worth the travel!
We made plans to dance salsa soon and I finally agreed I'd love London!
I arrived in London yesterday late at night. The low cost airline proved as usual some trouble: one hour delay and landing in the middle of nowhere... but thanks to the time shift I was given one more hour to sort everything out.
The area I am going to live in is beautiful. West Kensington tube station is not far and I have a 24h Tesco with glutenfree food in walking distance - the bread is awesome!
The way from the tube station to the house is typically English: Delhi stores everywhere... but my street is really beautiful. I passed by the house twice before it atually came to my mind that this IS really my new address.
Also, the flat for us three girls is really nice. We have a big kitchen and our rooms are not too small either. The content of my one and only suitcase disappeared in the cupboard easily.
Jo, my five year younger, LSE law-student, Asian-German flatmate welcomed me warmly and informed me about our shoes out policy. In contrast to my messy British house sharing experiences I am gonna live in a nice and clean place this summer...