The GoGlobal Blog

The London Life

The London Life

I’ve been in London for two weeks now, and I can easily say they’ve been two of the most incredible weeks of my life. Surprisingly, London reminds me a lot of Chicago. There’s a river running through the middle of the city, the tube is just like the El, and I live in a nice residential area with a couple main roads nearby as in Roger’s Park. Considering how far away from home I really am, I feel comfortable here.

I haven’t had any extreme culture shock, and no one has said anything derogatory towards me for being American. Sometimes, though, I feel like I stick out like a sore thumb. One day I wore rain boots – no one here wears rain boots. One day I wore Sperry’s – no one here wears Sperry’s. And as soon as I open my mouth to speak, any chance of blending in goes out the window when they hear my American accent. But I’m picking up on things. To look like a local London girl I need to wear tights and a skirt with black flats and slightly messy hair. Jeans are less common, as is most large jewelry. Reading the newspaper on the tube is an unspoken rule, and if you don’t have your travel card ready when you get to the tube turnstile, you will get run over. It’s all very classy.

I learn new words and phrases everyday. Some words are ones that I’ve heard before and knew English people said, like “rubbish” and “cheers.” Yet, it never really sank in how often they’re used and how entertaining it is to hear them in conversation. I’ve been invited to “take a read”, to “form a queue”, and asked what I “fancy.” I’ve learned that a “brolley” is an umbrella, a “trolley” is a shopping cart, and a “torch” is a flashlight. Part of me hopes I’ll adopt some of these words and phrases into my daily vocabulary, but part of me hopes they will ways stand out as being strange and remind me of how special and unique this whole experience is.

Coming a week before school started has proven to be one of the best decisions I could’ve made. I’ve been able to do a LOT of touristy stuff, like London Bridge, Tower Bridge, Tower of London, The Monument, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, the Jewel Tower, Churchill War Rooms, Buckingham Palace and a bunch of shopping. Last weekend I took a train to Liverpool for a Beatles tour around the city. I love the feeling of having so many different things to do and see all the time. Today I went to Stonehenge and Bath with 3 other loyola girls studying here and our new German friend. I hope to travel somewhere exciting nearly every weekend!

I’m already looking ahead and making plans for the coming months. Check back for another update soon.


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