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I had orientation for my work visa this morning. I was afraid I’d sleep through it. I woke up in time, but I still had to run from the tube station to make it on time. I underestimated the time it would take to get there and spent too much time at breakfast chatting with two Canadian girls from BC. They are just finishing up a 4 month backpacking trip of Europe, and were more than ready to head home.

Orientation provided a few interesting tidbits. It set the word of the day as Dodgy, which accurately describes a lot of things – my hostel, the lack of rubbish bins and water fountains, the homeless man changing in Soho Square – all very dodgy. I found out that peanut butter is non-existent here :-O, so I’ll have to get used to marmite. I signed up for a group trip to Warwack Castle and the Leichester Spa on Monday. Monday is a holiday here and everything is closed, so I’m heading “Britain’s Greatest Medieval Experience” (they have a 22 tonne trebuchet and guys with swords).

After the orientation I headed out exploring with 3 Americans I met – Adam, Kersten, and Warren. We grabbed lunch at a little cafe and ate it in a park because it was 15% cheaper than eating in. I then did something I thought I would never, ever do…I bought a cell phone. It only cost £45 and I got £40 worth of call time. I just needed something to coordinate meeting people. And everyone here has cell phones. I’ve joined the dark side now. My number is 079 6266 6159 – you can call or text me (incoming calls are free). Actually all 4 of us got cell phones. Mine was the cheapy and came with a dead battery and takes 72 hours for the SIM card to work, so I don’t have it on right now, so I probably missed all the fun tonight. But after today, I’ll never be out of the loop again.

After we lost Warren, we spent the afternoon wandering around the British Museum. The place is huge and full of old things (like dead bodies, fake coins, and old weapons). We didn’t even see a 10th of it. Then after we left we lost Adam on the tube, so Kersten and I went to Prêt à Manger (recommended by sarahrowe) and ate our dinner in Soho Square.

Now I’m exhausted and off to bed. The plan for tomorrow – a run through Hyde Park in the morning, then meeting up with some of the Americans in the afternoon.

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