Saturday, August 21, 2004


Today was more frustrating than anything. I spent a couple hours researching cell phone plans - there very different and very complicated over here. Then, after all that time, I realized I was going to get Virgin like I had originally planned. D'oh. At least I know that it's the best option since i did all the work.

Unlike the US, UK companies don't just offer a flat set of minutes. Instead, they have pay-as-you go and pay monthly plans. The pay monthly offers a certain number of minutes (like 200 minutes for 30 pounds), but then calls to other networks are more. So, for the US, that would mean that your Sprint phone would cost extra to call Verizon. Pretty strange. Add it all up and the Brits pay an awful lot for thier 'mobiles'.

At any rate, for someone like me, who doesn't know many people and primarily wants to receive calls, the best idea is to get a pay-as-you go plan. The rate per minute is slightly higher, but you don't have minimum fees per month and the rate is the same across all networks. The other odd thing about it is that you can "top off" your minutes at something like 85,000 locations in the UK for Virgin.

At any rate, after getting my phone and figuring it all out, I really wanted to go see the US Men's basketball game. I knew about a couple sports bars in the area, so I figured this was a good time to check them out. Unfortunately, I was disappointed to say the least. I did walk to West Kensington (which is suprisingly seedier) and investigate a couple pubs. But they were showing swimming and soccer. I headed back toward Earl's Court via the southern route (to make a square basically), and stopped in another pub with the same result.

Anyway, since it was unlikely that I was going to find a pub that would be showing the game, I decided to map out where my friends Larry and Vanessa are staying next week (they arrive Monday). Their hotel, as it turns out, is only about 10 minutes walking from where I live. Of course, I took the long way to get there, but I didn't mind. It was good to walk around and the best way to learn the insanely crazy streets of London is to walk them. This city really isn't planned out in any conventional sense.

I've been walking a ton this week, as you might imagine, and one thing I've noticed, aside from the fact that I get tired, is that I've been really hungry. I guess that's the difference from sitting on my ass all day as a paralegal.

At any rate, I didn't really do anything fun tonight. Just went through some of my materials from school, figured out how my phone work, and lamented the US hoops loss to Lithuania. No worries. I didn't spend any (more) money either.

Somewhere in the world someone is eating a burrito.


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