Thursday, December 18, 2008

Dancing the 'Let's Meet Up' Jig

I've lived in a few cities in the world. Montreal, Wroclaw, Ottawa -- to name a few. But never have I found it as hard to arrange a meeting with someone as in London.

First of all, you can forget about spontaneity. Calling someone on the day - or even the day before -and trying to arrange a time to get together is as likely to happen as getting on the Northern line without a delay. No, you must call at least two weeks in advance, and even then you can be sure that trying to find a bit of mutual free time is a challenge.

Even if you've managed to hit on a night (usually a month into the future), it still doesn't necessarily mean your plan will come to fruition. It's the dreaded 'call to confirm' a few days prior to the engagement that runs the risk of throwing the whole thing off. The confirmation phone call provides a handy out for either party, in case of rain, fatigue, Tube delays, and any other sundry excuse.

'Oh, my hamster just died, so I can't make it. But I'm free next month, on the night of the 12th, between 7 and 9! I'll give you a call the day before to confirm, shall I?'

It's a miracle anyone in London manages to meet up. No wonder Londoners are the loneliest people in the UK.

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