Archive for August, 2009


[First, a shout-out!]

One thing that’s worthy of mention though is how much the INSEAD alumni rock. For a while, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to keep investing time and energy into networking in a city that I couldn’t see myself living in. But then I decided that talking to interesting people about mutual interests couldn’t hurt. It didn’t. Those who don’t stand you up at breakfast way the hell across town because of a hangover (We’re cool, mate. I’m pretty psyched about discovering a taste for Marmite) have been wonderfully helpful and eager to help. I’ve gotten a reply to all but one e-mail I’ve sent, and have gotten the chance to meet with a dozen or so alumni, who have been total rockstars. Thank you!

[Some sort of skillful segue goes here]

The summer is winding down. The lack of blogging is not so much correlated with the lack of activity in life – though much of it doesn’t seem blog-worthy. Or rather, much of it is not INSEAD- and MBA-related. Do the people who read this want to hear about the cockles in Whitstable, or about the bizarre, quirky sense of humor of Salinger (assigned reading from the boy I’ve been fake-dating all summer. Yeah, we’re cerebral like that…)? Probably not.

Less than one week before the London crew disperses to Fonty and Singapore. When I say crew, I mean the three people out of forty that I’ve actually hung out with. The rest have been drinking L14 cocktails at rooftop bars from which many a banker have plunged to their deaths.

I can hardly wait to get out of this angry, mean, overpopulated, overpriced yuppie hell and get back to the idyllic life in Fontainebleau. I’m exaggerating on all counts here, of course. In the recent weeks London and I haven’t quite gotten to be friends. But the weather has stabilized to something almost pleasant, I love the rotunda of the British museum, the art installation in the vaults by London Bridge I saw last Friday was whack-ass (in an amazing sort of way), and I haven’t gotten into any fights with any bus drivers in at least 96 hours. I’d say we’re moving toward becoming solid frenemies.

I thought I could trade baguettes for convenience and macarons for culture, but found that I couldn’t keep up with the pace of life here, with the deafening noise, the crowds, the lack of personal space, the constant assault on all senses. Too much heart, some would say.

I can’t wait to see my BFFs back from Singapore, to reconnect with friends I’ve missed over the two month break, to pick up the almost-friendships that started to develop in P3, to my personal space (own bathroom, my fabulous kitchen knife). I know I’m over-romanticizing France right now. I haven’t quite forgotten the fact that Je ne parle pas a squat of French or that the Monoprix closes before class is done on most days. Oh, and the fact that we’re not coming back to sit and watch the world go by on a picnic spread by the reflecting pool. We’re coming back to kick off the recruiting season.

I’ve been trying to convince myself that this summer internship – or rather 6 weeks spent googling various combinations of words (aka market research) – job will help me transition into doing the next thing. But it’s more likely that the summer internship has helped me realize that the ‘next thing’ is not actually the thing that I thought I wanted to do. Well, all good learnings. After fiddling with the resume format this way and that, I decided that the current internship was not worthy of displacing another activity I’m more proud of. So, it’s like it never happened. Plausible deniability?

I know I’ll look through the hazy veil of memory, and remember the time I’ve spent in London as fun and adventurous and larger than life. Rather than ‘claustrophobic’, I’ll remember feeling ‘alive’. Rather than ‘constantly angry’, I’ll remember feeling ‘exhilarated and inspired’. I’ll be driving my SUV through Virginia suburbs, taking my fertility treatment twins to soccer practice and tell them stories of, ‘back when mom was young and lived amidst squalor in London’ – and it’ll all be terribly romantic – but for now, I’m ready to get outta here.


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Dear McConslutting & Co,

Thanks for the booze. Please forgive the tone of this note. I’m still a bit drunk. Drunk enough to have done some drunk dialing on my way home to someone I haven’t even broken up with (or gotten together with, for that matter). Drunk enough to know that I’ll probably have a headache tomorrow. Drunk enough to have felt at ease monopolizing every conversation, thinking that everything coming out of my mouth tonight was terribly clever. Drunk enough for my parents to be partially amused but kind of disappointed when talking to me on Skype tonight. [Sorry, guys!] Drunk enough to still be contemplating whether or not I should take a shower tonight for the risk of slipping and drowning in the filthy shower I share with 5 other people because my roommate has had his whole family staying with us for the last week.

Since I know how much you enjoy continuous feedback, I thought I would give you some feedback. Rather than doing it positive thing first, I’ll cut to the chase and tell you what you can improve. I was kind of hoping you would have had hummus at your event tonight. In fact, as I was shoving my way down Regent Street this evening, I said just that to my friend, “Oooh, I bet they’ll have hummus.”

I can’t believe you didn’t have hummus. One of my best friends in your New York office always tells me that before they ever bother to do any work, you take the team out for some team bonding at Jean George or at L’Atelier Joël Robuchon. Only after the seared foie gras with raspberry reduction or the sea urchin with lettuce foam do they commence that cost cutting pharma project where they make half the client company redundant. So I figured there’d be at least something mundane like shrimp cocktail. Or hummus! Maybe next time you could call me ahead and I can pick up some hummus on the way. I don’t mind! There’s even a place called Hummus Brothers in London. In fact, I’ve been doing this mental exercise all weekend: what’s the next Hummus Brothers (i.e. what’s the next completely ridiculous food fetish?). I know it’s the recession and all, but this bbq was quite possibly worse than an INSEAD bbq at Tavers. And trust me, that’s pretty bad. Next time, you could just serve drinks and salty snacks.

On the bright side, I enjoyed the chit chat. Or rather, I enjoyed hearing myself talk.



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