I’m interning at a publishing company. The day is pretty fast-paced – lots of phone calls, emails, research, chasing up press photos, writing short copy. Generally I’m trying to get my sea legs and not get snowed under – or mix my metaphors.

Like most internships, it is unpaid. However, besides the work-is-its-own-reward reward, they do offer perks: I’ve got a 2-zone travelcard and a daily £5 lunch budget.

The best way to get a handle on how my first week went is by finding out where that £5 went.

Monday: Hoxton’s Sandwiches
Not bad. I think there was celery in my grilled veggie panini though. But I had bottled water, and cake and coffee afterwards. A serious, proper lunch. It was busy. I read The Sun.

Tuesday: The Bean
Went for lunch with my fellow intern Martha. Unsuccessfully tried to get sticker price on my pre-packaged sandwich (£0.00) – did not work. She neither found it charming, nor felt duty-bound to honour the price. Total fail. Our relationship was strained from then on. Martha got overly zealous about their muffins. They are good, but now she’s addicted. This could become a problem.

Wednesday: Lennie’s Larder
Martha took me to this incredible place down a side street twenty steps from the office. £4.50 gets you a big tray of handmade salads from Lennie’s salad bar plus chicken or fish and hummus. The salads are made mostly with vegetables from her garden. Plus the woman (I think it’s Lennie) was super-nice. We ate lunch in the churchyard across the street.

Thursday: Tesco
Walked to Brick Lane in search of a lunch a little farther afield. Stumbled upon an improv theatre audition across from Old Truman Brewery. What?!

Went in, managed to slip into a slot, and gave it my all.

One co-auditioner was perfectly lovely. The other was totally crazy – but not in that zany, high-energy stage presence kind of way either. More of a mumbly, rambling, dissociative way. But we plowed through the whole surreal experience.

My unforeseen audition used up most of my hour, so I grabbed a sandwich and some sushi at the Tesco Metro and ate it at my borrowed desk. Turns out Tesco doesn’t make the most authentic sushi.

Friday: Dreambagsjaguarshoes
This is a hip Shoreditch bar, barely renovated from its past life as two different shops on the side-by-side premises. One was called Dream Bags, the other Jaguar Shoes. They offer a pizza made by Due Sardi and eye-popping cartoonish art on the walls. It was a pretty good pizza, plus the waitress was really nice and I read a couple of Roald Dahl short stories.

1st Place: Improv Audition
Runner-up: Lennie’s Larder