ENGLAND!!! I have officially begun my study abroad journey since landing in London 29hrs ago. The jetlag was not as bad as I had anticipated and the city hasn’t produced too much of a culture shock. In fact, when I walk down the street at any given point you can hear a person speaking some other language besides English. The city is quit diverse. What I found to be funny was that just around the corner there is a McDonalds and a Starbucks. Then, there is a pub on the corner across from my hotel. Pubs are more like social gathering places rather than bars and by nightfall they are bustling with people.
Today was an excursion opportunity after orientation. Unfortunately the rain and the lateness of the hour prohibited a complete tour of the main highlights of the city but it was fun and a good learning opportunity to ride the tube through the city and visit a few major sites such as Big Ben and the Tower of London. Interestingly enough, night time seems to be the time when Londoners decide to exercise. On the walk back I saw over half a dozen people out running for exercise.
It would be foolish to think that since I am living in a country that speaks basically the same language as I do that I am not going to encounter cultural differences. That is far from the truth. As I have recently been told, “America and Britain are two countries separated by a common language.” Already I have seen a number of differences between the American culture and the British. For the fun of it I shall try and share in every blog entry at least a few new things that I have learned. For instance, the very first reality was that (#1): internet is rarely free and not reliable. McDonalds has been my connection to the web. Today as been my 2nd connection since arrival. #2: people on the tube do not, I repeat, DO NOT like to be looked at directly. They get scared and anxious looking. In fact, they prefer (especially the adults) to appear busy reading a newspaper, on the phone, or fascinated by the floor of the train (haha).
One more day in London and then I’m off to Oxford!
Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind. ~Seneca