On Saturday, June 19. I went attended a translators’ fair. Two years earlier, during my first stay in London, I registered with several translating agencies and they were sending me updates since. Most of them were seeking a Japanese to French translator, which I politely ignored as it would take really long time with a dictionary to tackle these two languages.
Now I obtained an invitation for a translators’ fair together with a free ticket. It said that I was one of the few people who got a free ticket. Normally, it costs 10 pounds. I decided to show up. I printed the invitation and checked the details. It took place in the Hilton London Metropole at Edgware Road. It must be serious if they held it in Hilton I thought 🙂 On Friday I came back from work at 1:30 a.m. Saturday. I decided that if I wake up early, I would go. I woke up 7:50, so I went.
I ate my breakfast, trying not to wake up anyone in the room. The room was full – all six beds were occupied. (I changed hostels in the meantime). The guy sleeping above me must have arrived after my at night, because when I arrived, the bed was empty. How good I did not mistake the beds. Usually I eat my breakfast in the common room downstairs, but it was also occupied by two sleepers. After breakfast I put on clothes: jeans and blue shirt with ivy-berry pattern from an Italian designer – I wanted to look formal. At that time I had no idea how formal wear looks like…Hopefully, they would let me in to Hilton…
I headed for a bus, I had to change twice but yet I arrived to the place quite quickly. I walked to the hotel, where I hesitated for a while. I do not know why, there are about 500 such hotels in the world. The chain was started by Conrad Hilton in 1943 but it works on a franchise basis, anyone can open a hotel after getting the licence – like Starbucks or McDonalds. Yes, Paris is Conrad’s granddaughter and I recalled the (un)successful video Stars are blind…
I walked up the street and back. I was overtaken by a man who was also holding a printed invitation. I followed him to the hotel lounge. I wanted to ask about the fair at the reception but I saw a big electronic sign ‘Bilingual People language fair’, so I decided to play a smart guy and entered the corridor. Hope I will find it, the key is to look smart. I was passing by the restaurant, sports bar – I stopped for a while – and I walked up the stairs to the first floor. On my way I stopped for the toilet – why not enjoy the services in Hilton…
There was a huge crowd of people at the floor and a gentleman was ushering them to the fair. I was directed to a queue with printed invitations. The queue was very long, twice bent like a rattle snake. I was waiting. I felt there like Alice in the Wonderland who followed the rabbit down the hole. These people must be perfect in languages. But when I heard nearby women pronounce ‘Here are so MUCH people’, I calmed down. Later I learnt that this combination is also acceptable under certain circumstances, I think when you refer to the people as a mass.
The queue moved and I entered the room. There were many stalls of different companies, from European Council, mobile phone operators, to Coca Cola. I did not know what to do so I was just walking around the stalls. For about 20 minutes. One of the areas, where I can imagine my future is translation and language jobs. But how to take the chance if no one passes the ball on you… What to ask? I joined the queue at the Council of Europe stall and asked for some further information. The woman asked me about my languages and gave me a brochure with further information. It is possible to register via the internet. I will try, no one knows. I will register with their website, apply for a job and I am sure I will get it 🙂
I had similar experience also at the other stalls. It was confirmed that at that moment it was nothing for me, but at least I have some clues. They would definitely be useful 🙂 I went away. At least I was in Hilton and even on an invitation. By the way, that hotel is full of services: a pool, gym, bar and so on.
I took a bus home and went into my room. There was the guy from India (no, he did not look like Rajesh from Big Bang Theory). We had a good talk. He is really intelligent although he looks rather plain man. We discussed the room, diet coke, protein drinks – he drunk proteins even if he was not exercising (I like the idea to supply nutrition) and politics. After that I was writing my blog. In the afternoon I will go to work again. I worked as a taxi-bike driver (or shall I call it rider?). Maybe you have seen in London and other big cities bicycles with three wheels and a big seat for three persons in the back. This is it. It works on the basis of a taxi company. The riders pay a weekly rent to the owner and they keep the rest of the collected money.
It is an interesting an unpredictable job. Sometimes you are just biking around the streets for hours without earning a single pound but at night you catch 3 or 4 good customers in a quick sequence and you earn good money. Or vice versa. On Friday it was like on Thursday (it was Friday, indeed), which is usually the poorest day. People are getting ready for the weekend, when you can earn a lot. But I did not, the day before. Moreover, I arrived home late due to diversion – they were fixing the road. But I will survive. I can hardly find a better job, which was proved today at Hilton.