I reached London 2 days ago and thankfully the heat wave is over. Reached Heathrow in the morning and took the tube straight to Covent Garden. My advisor's moved to London and we'd scheduled a meeting for the afternoon as that was the only day he was on campus. Since I had 4-5 hours to kill before that I decided to drop off my backpack at M's office, one of his students who just moved from Boston to London with him. The campus has a great location and it's right in the heart of the city. A huge change from B which was 15 miles outside Boston. Took me a while to find M's office and the security wasn't too keen to let me walk through with my 2 backpacks. Went out and had coffee and lunch near Covent Garden.
Toyed with the idea of getting a beer closeby but decided to stay sober before my meeting. It was fun walking around with M in London. We used to get lunch/coffee frequently in B and always complained about the lack of a decent place on campus. This was bang in the centre of everything and walking between the different depts involves walking through central London. Felt a bit envious of him as I'd considered delaying graduating in May and moving to London as a visiting student. I doubt if I would have been motivated to finish though. Picked up the keys from G in his plush corporate office a few minutes away from the maths dept. Different world compared to the cramped offices and shabby students hanging around. Getting back home wasn't easy as I ended up taking the tube during peak rush hour and my 2 backpacks made things even harder. What made it worse was no air-conditioning and I sweated as much as I would have on a hot day in Delhi in a crowded DTC bus.
The last 2 days I've just walked around aimlessly during the way in London, browsed a couple of bookstores and met some other friends in the evening for a drink. The pubs and streets are so packed in the evening (especially on the weekends) and I love how one can take a drink and stand on the streets or sit on the sidewalk. Unfortunately, in the US, that's something one can't do and I wish some places would allow it. A nice place to drink is on one of the cruise boats on the river and watch the sunset and the riverbank light up.