Week 39: London Coling

London Coling Banner At Work

What an honor it is to me, to write this blog entry. I’ve only been at on-IDLE
for about a week and a half so far and already get to write this blog.

But lets start from the beginning. Let me round up where i come from and who i am real quick. My name is Colin, I’m the lucky one who got the chance to do this internship at on-IDLE for three and a half months. Before I came to live in London I lived in Switzerland where I did my mandatory school years and my apprenticeship as a Polygraf — what basically is the fancy swiss term for Graphic Designer with specialization in typography and print. More recently I’ve also made my Matura — what one could see as the equivalent of the A-Levels, which I then would have done in Arts. Then I’ve worked in a bar and been surfing in Indonesia — and now here I am — London.

Books from the swiss book swap

Latest Greatest

This next section of my entry is meant to be a recurring one. Depending, of course, on my discipline in writing my blog entries on a regular basis. So in this section, the «Latest Greatest», I’d like to tell you my view of Things during my internship. This might be insights on my life in London but business related topics as well. This all gets packed into an easy to read, short and nifty little work of prose.

So here we go. First thing I had to figure out when I arrived in London, of course, was how public transport works. But since I am quite into my iPhone and the apps on it, that was no biggie. I relied on Google Maps and later found City Mapper. So I can proudly say, the only station I’ve missed so far was on the DLR from City Airport towards home and that problem was solved very quick as well. By now I really enjoy hopping on and off tube or bus and it all works flawlessly. Not so usual for a boy coming from a village up in the swiss mountains I guess.

Next thing I had to realize, in London you need a british bank account for almost everything. Want to profit from inexpensive 3 monthly cellular plans? Need a bank account.Want to work out at the gym? Need a bank account. Want a bank account? Need utility bills. Thank god I found a solution at least for the first two mentioned — 3 pay-as-you-go and joining the gym using my credit card. And yet, sooner or later I am going need a british bank account. So without utility bills, since living at students housing, what do I do? A trader friend of mine advised me to try HSBC. We’ll see how far I get. 
On the first friday I spent in London, my boss took me to an event from the swiss embassy's art department. Apparently they get a copy of every book made, and is somehow related to Switzerland and art. Over the years there were just too many books accumulating and not enough space so they decided to give them away at a nice little gathering of mostly swiss creatives living and working in London.  To me that was a great experience, not only did I get to take with me every book i could get my hands on, but also get to know some interesting new people.

Headline number four: «Lock your bike several times and with monstrous chain locks.» Since I planed on going to the gym over lunch on a regular basis, I thought owning one of these hip single speed bikes would be such a nice thing. On my third day at on-IDLE luck struck me in that matter. Turned out the guy next door, Stuart from @EastBikesLondon, refurbishes vintage road bikes and sells them via twitter and gumtree. So I popped by a couple of times and got myself a nice, white and near mint Peugeot road bike. What a beauty she was. Whilst waiting for the monstrous chain lock from amazon I helped myself with a cheap lock from Tesco. Mind you are not in your village up in the swiss mountains anymore, padawan. I remember that one friday exactly. Grabbed lunch at the italians, right round the corner from our studio, where I get those heavenly croissants every morning from. And again, bad decision. Finished work and rode my little racer down the road when I realized it’s gonna get pretty damn wet within minutes. So i locked the Peugeot in front of the tube station and got my ass back home dry like the sahara. That night the fever came and from that time on it’s a bloody Odessa of Salmonella caused horror. So my bike wasn’t there anymore. Advice for fresh-off-the-boat guys looking to discover London by bike: Get that fat chain before you get that bike.

Banner Concrete Jungle Survival Apps

Concrete Jungle Survival Apps

To make sure you guys will come back to this blog as soon as I tweet the publication of the next episode, here's a little something for you: my «Concrete Jungle Survival Apps». That's right, I'm just going to share my secret tools for surviving London the first time you read my blog right away. Generous, I know.

Citymapper

Gourgeous Interface, brilliant usability and most important — it actually gets you to places! This little helper is absolutely necessary to me. If my iPhone decides to shut down in lack of battery, this definitely would be the first app I'd miss.
Get it for iPhone or Android at: citymapper.com

London Tube

Harry Beck's oeuvre on your mobile. Tab, drag, zoom. Simples.
Get it for iPhone at: iTunes App Store
Get it for Android at: Google play

Strava Cycle

Log your City Rides, challenge yourself or your friends, break records and earn badges. A must for every Fixie owner.
Get it for iPhone or Android at: Strava.com

So that's my essential 3. And then there's Google Maps and Safari. Obviously.

That would be all for this episode. I hope you enjoyed reading my mayham thoughts and that you'll be back for the next episode in about a week or two.

Would be great if you could share this blog and follow me on Twitter.

Follow Me @malaclipse23
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