Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Cheers II

Bottom Five

1)  Showing up at London Fashion Week in a fleece.

Yeah, I just didn't think that one through.

2)  Having to use a crappy Android loaner phone with very expensive (as in use in emergencies only) access.  And, it had a crap camera.

I think a smart phone can facilitate better adventures than the adventures I had because I was without a smart phone.   

Plus, I got like 25 messages when I landed that really should have come through anywhere.  My phone sounded like a Vegas slot machine.

3)  I speak the language 

Actually, I don't.  I think I would have preferred a totally foreign language where I have no idea what was going on rather than being lured into the comfort of a shared language and then totally thrown off by the influence of context and culture.  This isn't just cute things like "tube" versus "subway" and "lift" versus "elevator."  It's deeper.  I can't quite describe the difference.  But I felt it.

4)  Underwhelming Food 

Maybe better to access to "Yelp" would have helped (see #2).  And, not having lunch in a government cafeteria.  There have to be good places to eat but I could not find them.  I never left a meal with that "Ah, good.  Yum" feeling.  Eating was a way to address hunger but it brought no satisfaction otherwise.

And porridge?  Even I can make oatmeal without messing it up.  

5)  Shoes 

I brought sneakers, black high heels, brown high heels and my climbing shoes. Something in between sneakers and high heels would have been a good idea.  I considered buying comfort shoes but given that I could make due with what I had, I didn't.  And generally: comfortable = ugly.

Sunday, October 06, 2013


I've been in London for the past two weeks working at the cabinet office with the Beh@vior@l Insights Te@m. 

Top Five

1)  I felt like I was on The West Wing

I was surrounded by very savvy civil servants.  I gave everyone a West Wing alter ego.  I was Ainsley Hayes - because I arrived later in the series and have a slightly different point of view (though not a Republican one) and I'm smart and beautiful.  

This is Will Bailey.

2) Boozeonomics

3) I was snack free.  For the first week, anyway.  

This has nothing to do with any will-power or resolve.  The vending machine just didn't take money.  It required a special card.  By the start of week two I figured it out.

4) Flatmates

I used AirBnB for some of the trip.  I bonded with my flatmates.  We watched the series finale of both Dexter and Breaking Bad.  Those shows were the culmination of hours and hours of watching.  Sharing those moments created an instant bond.

I feel like such a poser saying flatmates.  And loo.  And cheers.  And tube.

5) Banksy  

I'm a bad tourist.  So, I gave some structure to my walks around London.  I bought an app that told me where to find Banksy art.  I'm very happy when I have a mission.

Friday, October 04, 2013

Why I Might Not Be A Good Social Scientist: Reason #6

Because when I meet an rockstar social scientist the only thing I think to ask is "Can I get a picture with you?"