(TL;DR at the bottom!)
1. People basically dress two ways here, either extremely nice or with some sort of punk rock vibe. I feel so underdressed walking around in my jeans! One day this past week I counted the men and women in blue jeans in a 30 minute period on the street (hundreds of people) and I only found 18 women and 32 men wearing blue jeans! Lots of women wear skirts and dresses and men wear suits. That seems to be more of the norm here.
2. There are a lot of smokers in London! I was very surprised by this. And there aren’t many sanctions on how far away to smoke from buildings, so it’s just a constant smoke smell pretty much everywhere. It’s just been weird to experience this as I’m used to the US, which has like the lowest amount of smokers in their history
3. I’ve seen some of the most unique street performers! It’s awesome! So far I’ve seen a puppeteer, an accordion-ist, a bagpipe-r (are those right?), an a cappella girl group, and a gymnast team. Awesome!
4. Every city should have a train system this awesome! That is all.
5. On a similar note, I’m terrible at getting on and off escalators, which you have to do a lot when taking “the tube.” I’ve tripped every. Single. Time. I just get nervous and I prep myself,“Okay, Sara. This is it! This is where the floor beneath you stops moving! You have to use your legs again!” And then BOOM! I trip. I’ve even tried walking down the escalator, you know, as a warm up to get my legs ready to step off and I still lose my balance. I look around and NO ONE else does this. I don’t know…I’m dysfunctional apparently. This has nothing to do with London per se, but I figured it out while I was IN London so…
6. The roads are terribly confusing even beyond the fact they drive on the left side of the road. There are streets everywhere going every which way! I’m very thankful they write on the street which way to look before crossing the road:
A few times I’ve screamed in my head, “We’re gonna crash! That car is coming right at us!” But that was inside my head and outwardly my face was like J And of course we ended up being fine. Everyone’s going the right way down the streets. They would know…and I’ve only almost gotten hit crossing the street twice so I feel like that’s a pretty good record in a week.
7. Their meal portions are grossly out of proportion with the size of their cups! Only tap water is free and it comes in the tiniest of glasses. (Which can be true at some American fast food places too, but that’s another rant for another time) But for real I’ve been dehydrated almost the entire time here! I feel like a fish gasping for water! And when you ask for tap water, they don’t typically refill you glass after the small cup…so sad…
8. The parks throughout the city are absolutely gorgeous!! Just look at this:
9. They have very well behaved dogs! In the park, they are rarely seen on leashes. Even on the street I’ve seen dogs sans leash and just following the owner or even leading the owner happy as a clam! It’s adorable!
10. And my last observation also serves as a warning – they eat everything with a knife and fork. Even pizza and French fries (or “chips”). Pizza and French fries! Naturally finger foods. So I just have the worst manners here basically…
- Nice dressers
- Lots of smoke
- Unique artists
- Cool trains
- Awful coordination
- Potential crashes
- No water
- Gorgeous parks
- Behaved pups
- Good manners