Well I have been terrible about keeping this updated. Can you blame me? Tuesday will be one month from when I left home and Wednesday is the one month anniversary in my new home in London! So much has happened in this last month, but now that I have some form of a routine I can understand the Beatles’ song “I Feel Fine”. But to commemorate my one month anniversary I thought I would share some of the things I have learned living in London.
1. Not everyone in London has bad teeth. In fact, they are actually very nice. And Yes, they serve tea but they don’t drink it all of the time. I actually probably drink it in my room more than most people here. It’s no southern sweet tea but it will do for now.
2. The exchange rate is slowly killing me. Yeah 10 ‘quid’ isn’t bad, right? WRONG! That is seriously 16 dollars. And that is just for food. I’m just saying…It’s expensive here.
3. American food is a thing. I never thought America had a special type of food like Chinese or Italian. Boy was I wrong. I miss my grits, bacon, fried chicken, burgers, hot dogs, biscuits, Bojangles, Chick-fil-a… and the list could go on forever. What I miss most about home… FOOD!
4. The University of Oxford is as intimidating as it sounds. It sure does live up to the hype. I have 1500 word research papers due every week and we move at a flying pace. I take pride in Wofford’s education and even that is looking like a break from Oxford. But never the less, I love Oxford. I am convinced I will come back to live there. By far my favorite place since I’ve been my first month.
5. You don’t actually here a lot of British accents in Central London. London has so much going on from business to school to theater. Everyone wants to be here. Most of the locals mind their business and carry on. The people you hear on a regular basis are the “loud tourists” aka the Americans. We really are loud, but we aren’t alone though. Any tourist is loud and can be easily spotted. Best accomplishment in London? Getting to and from your residence without saying a word and being mistaken for a local. I have given directions to a few lost people and I have never been more proud of myself.
6. Language is still a barrier. Even if we are speaking the same language people still have the hardest time understanding us. I’ve been from Australia, Ireland, Scotland, France, Germany, and pretty much everywhere else. But they have different words for everything. Here’s a little guide I have just whipped up for y’all. The American word is first followed by the British.
Chips = Crisps
Fries = Chips
Biscuits = Cookies
Take Out = Take Away
Refill (money or drinks) = Top Up
Trash = Rubbish, Litter (oh and they don’t have trash cans in public places)
Oh, you like him don’t you? = You fancy the chap?
I want to lose three pounds = I want to lose stones
And everything is just spelled different. Take my word for it.
7. The little green man is my best friend. He tells me when it is safe to cross the roads. I will never understand or get used to the traffic in London. First of all, they are insane drivers and do not stop for pedestrians. The bikers are worse. And this driving on the other side of the road deal is just not cool. It makes me even more directionally challenged if you can believe it.
8. Platform 9 & 3/4 is not as cool as you think. Sorry Harry Potter Fans, it is not in between platforms 9 and 10 but located in the middle of King’s Cross Station roped off for pictures. How do they expect us to actually get to Hogwarts then?
9. People dress better here. That’s it.
10. I love America more every day. I don’t want you to think I don’t love it here. Because I do. This is hands down the most amazing experience of my life and I am so grateful for the opportunity to study here, but I miss home. After all, there is no place at home right?