My first month of working in the City of London has come to an end. I survived.
For the last three years I have been working in a place most unlike the City of London. Every (early) morning I spent an hour following the grey concrete road that is the M4 to the industrial heartland of Berkshire and never ever once have I been persuaded to up-nest and actually live out there. What can I say, I'm loyal to the Bush. And in a weird twist of fate the Bush has been loyal to me as now that I commute east each day; my journey is shorter, easier and top people-watching fodder. God Bless the Central Line.
I won't bore you with what I do in my new job (though I can pretty much assure you it is not what you may expect for a virgin City girl - i.e. I don't work for a bank and I'm not a PA) but I am not going to pretend that I wasn't excited about working in the City. Despite recent years' bad press and recession the City, the financial heartland of our government-bailed-out country still has a certain buzz about it and I like it. Even though it is east London.
I'd be lying if I said that the smell of money in the air didn't excite me. I'm a child of the 80s, it's in my blood. However there is more to the buzz than just money and the power it is perceived to bring. And for those who know me, well it's not just the suited and booted muscles and ego of the men I have started to enjoy eye-flirting with regularly (though they are a nice bonus - ooh was that a bad City joke!?). Funnily enough I'm starting to think it's the sense of community within the Square Mile that is so intriguing and exciting.
With it's own street signs, council (sorry, Corporation), police force and WiFi network, the City of London has to be one of the smallest cities in the world and yet has the biggest name, London. There are only about 7000 residents with a City postcode but more than 350,000 commuters who seek their daily fortunes there. According to one old boy wanker banker I got talking to in a bar recently, until 20 - 25 years ago the City was dead after 8pm. Now there are more than 900 licensed premises for those who at the end of the day seek their beer (or once upon a time Champagne) buzz. The City is unique and it's Corporation knows it. Therefore the streets are always clean, the traffic wardens are even friendly and the self-promotion is rife but the tradition and sense of community do still seep through, just about.
I like this (as I've previously blogged about the importance of a sense of community in London). For now, I also like (ahem, humour) the wanker bankers and their awful chat, and of course I'm enjoying the eye fucking of suits I pass in the street in my lunch hour. And well, let's face it, 900 places to enjoy a glass of Sauvignon Blanc within one square mile. What's not to like?