I’ve received a mixed blessing: at long last I have a temporary work placement in the IT industry, so at long last I’ll be doing an actual IT job and getting some actual experience beyond turning on laptops in my old job, and building my own PC. Moreover, it’s at a London higher educational establishment… college girls, giggity.
However, there are drawbacks: firstly, it’s unpaid, though admittedly they’ll pay for my lunch and transport costs. They’ll really need to do the latter, as secondly, for at least the first week I’ll be commuting to Greenford; this will take me around 90 minutes and will involve travelling into central London and back out again — and if they really want me to come in at 8am, I’d have to get on the Northern Line when it starts up at 6:30am, a time I normally only know through insomnia!
And worst of all… the closest station is on the Central Line, the Underground line that has long since replaced the Northern Line as London’s official “Misery Line” (if I haven’t used the word “line” too many times in that sentence). I’ve only had to travel on it a couple of times over the past few years, but it was undiluted HELL every time, crowded like a cattle train and excruciatingly slow. Oh, and when I say “closest station”, I mean 20 minutes’ walk away!
But then again, pleas in mitigation: I only have to go in for 10am on my first day (tomorrow), and if I’m heading out of central London on the Central Line in the morning and into central London in the evening, I’m going in the opposite direction to the people who crowd on there way beyond capacity. Plus, if I have a seat, I should be able to watch some anime at long last, since I’ve been neglecting my Japanese over the past year or so.
(Yes, I’m one of those people who watch anime in Japanese with subtitles — but thanks to my being OCD-ish, I end up grumbling about minor inaccuracies or dumbings-down, like translating “Smith-san” as “John”, or “oniichan” as “person’s name”. I guess the only way to avoid translator bias is to be one’s own translator… so I need a Japanese girlfriend for more than one reason!)
Still, being so far out from London proper (I don’t care what anyone says, Greenford isn’t in London because it has an Uxbridge postcode!) may make it harder to get to evening events after work — there’s no way I can get home, make dinner, consume dinner and come back out again for any evening events, unlike when I was half-an-hour away on the Northern Line. Admittedly I’ll have no trouble going to Japanese on Tuesday, as that starts at 7pm, but what do I do about dinner beforehand? Eating out is expensive, not to mention fattening (the onion rings and milkshakes of Ed’s Diner at Euston station are calling me again), and I really don’t want to have to subsist on Subway sandwiches.
But hey, it’s only for the first week, or possibly two, and the rest of my time with the organisation should — should — be based at their Greenwich campus instead. Not a much shorter journey, but at least I would get to use the DLR (or the Docklands Light Rollercoaster as I’ve come to call it)!
So here’s to my last night of freedom… I’m actually (believe it or not) glad the Northern Line will be shut next weekend, because it’ll give me the excuse not to go anywhere or do anything!