Staying in London has brought a welcome breath of fresh air. From the horror stories I've been hearing about the searing heat in Rome, I'm actually happy, despite having to wear my typical August-in-England outfits replete with tights, coat and bonnet (wool).
So, what does a paesana do in Londontown? I'm having an absolute ball checking out all of the brilliant ads, many of which I've photographed and will be posting soon. I also seem to spend hours in card shops; I feel like a drunk in a liquor store.
But today, I had the loverly experience of actually going into a bank, at 4pm no less, and conducting a transaction. The tellers, like in Italy, were few but friendly, even stopping to give me advice on what to do about my serious cold. Not only was it wonderful to be able to make a transaction at the hour of the day of my choosing, I did something which, 17 years on, seems almost like committing fraud: I actually deposited money -- with my very own signature no less -- into an account of another individual. It was truly liberating, to say the least.
I also managed to make a transaction with a bank that doesn't know me, and where, I'm happy to report, I didn't have to select a number (max waiting time: 6 mins). I happily filled out a deposit form at the counter, free of the anxiety of meeting about a half dozen people at my window asking for forms.
I even paused in the lobby to pick up a few brochures, cute and simple, and not with fine print so small about the various codes, rules & regulations regarding that same offer. And, even finer print showing that you will lose money, regardless (just check out the consumer associations about lawsuits against banks for their shady practices and mis-information campaigns, and you'll see what I mean).
August in London. A breeze.