My last two nights in London were spent with some friends of my brother. Great group of girls (and guys). After spending many a night at posh set-ups, living in a run-down house with disgusting bathrooms and kitchen was a, err, refreshing change!
I learned something. Despite the fact that these endlessly friendly and upbeat 20 year old Brits were struggling to make ends meet, finish their university education, and work basic service jobs (they all work at local stores near their Hampstead house), they seemed as or more happy than some of the wealthy adults I stayed with. Laughing and smiling abound.
I didn’t "do" much these last couple days. Had lunch with a KPMG exec (thanks Seth Levine) who is a really nice guy, even though we probably don’t agree on some things. Wandered around Heath Park. Read a lot — in Starbucks, outside in parks, in the house.
At dinner one night my primary host stole a flower off the restaurant table, just as the waiter came by. She did it because one of her friends "loves that kind of flower." The waiter was the weirdest I’ve ever seen. He was like a robot reading a script. "If the flower has gone missing, please return it to the table." (She didn’t.) When he brought the bill and credit cards were provided he said, "Please insert your card. When prompted, please enter your PIN. I will turn my head as you enter your confidential PIN number information. Thank you." We made out with the stolen flower anyway! At dinner we had a Sicilian lemonade/gin drink which was quite good.