As first days go, yesterday really wasn’t too bad. Especially as I was expecting to be thrown head first into the hellishly-energetic-but-persistently-sleep-deprived world of journalism right from the off. But no - we were even given a lie in.
Naturally, top of the agenda was getting the know the area. You know, the really important stuff like - is there an A&E department near the training centre? Can I see a doctor without being registered? Where can I buy a falafel wrap the size of a small tree for only £3? These questions needed answering. At this point, the only part of Victoria I could claim to actually know was the brief journey between Platform 19 and the underground…so not a whole lot. But now, it’s a completely different story. If you’re ever in need of a reasonably priced dry cleaners within a five-minute radius of the Press Association Training Centre, I’ve got your back. There are three.
But none of my newfound expertise would’ve been possible without the hero of the hour, a lovely Spanish man who took it upon himself to approach our little group as we stared gormlessly at a tourist map on the corner. “But where’s the library??” we shouted “There’s an adult education centre, that has to have books?!”. “Excuse me girls, can I help you?” said the Spanish man. Yes, he could help us. We were very stuck. I should mention that the reason we were so stuck was because we weren’t allowed to Google anything, which, being true 21st Century citizens, meant chaos. But it was okay, Spanish man was our Google. In fact, he was better. When was the last time Google enjoyed helping you out so much that it was actually a little bit sad when question time was over?
Nearest doctor’s surgery? Tick. Cheapest breakfast? Tick. Cheapest cappuccino? Almost tick…he was 10p out. But nevertheless, Spanish man managed to prevent what would have otherwise been a wild goose chase. We still didn’t find out everything we were supposed to (cost of a trip to Venice on the Orient Express…anyone?) but it was nice to know that there’s more to Victoria than just a train station.
And we did manage to find the falafel and ultimately that’s all that matters.