So Far So Wild
My experience in London has been so far so great too, but it has been wild. I am not sure if these freshmen, who are so-called ‘Freshers’, are excited to start the college careers or if the quote, “What Happens in London, Stays in London” applies.
But before I continue on about the nightlife in London, there are much more important observations to dicuss. Everyone here is either genuinely nice or shockingly rude. 90% of the folks I have encountered here so far are typically friendly to both natives and Americans. They seem happy to help me with any questions I might have about the school, directions, and London in general. This has definitely been a warm welcome for us Americans! Then there’s the awful 10%. People will stare at me and give dirty looks from head to toe. I’m not phased by this in any which way, but girl, I know my outfit’s on point but you don’t need to keep staring. Also, today I asked a security guard for directions to a study abroad advisor and he just seemed so aggravated that I did not know my way. Again, I was not phased by this because maybe this man was having a bad day (or he probably hates Americans), but if this man is a worker of the school, I would assume he would have an uplifting attitude towards foreigners especially since this school consists of 60% international students.
East London reminds me of downtown San Francisco. There’s rows and rows of convienent and grocery stores down the streets. The streets aren’t very clean, either. Busy traffic everywhere. Somewhat of an overcast. Pedestrians of students, workers, and families fill the sidewalks. Sorry Brits, I meant to say pavement, not sidewalks. I haven’t visited the luxurious part of central London yet, but honestly, it does not feel like I am in London at all. Oh! Something I noticed during my walk today was that cars park at the side of the roads facing both directions. In other words, cars were parked facing each other on the same side of the road! What I want to know is how do cars park from the opposite direction and how do they get out? Wouldn’t it be a hassle to turn your car around just to get back to the other side of the road? I assume that parking is so limited in London that any spot where the car fits, they’ll take it, regardless of what side of the road.
Lastly, whoever told me Nikes are frowned upon in the UK is completely wrong. People definitely wear their freeruns or flyknits not only to the gym, but also on a casual basis. Although I have not visited central London yet, I do not think people here are “upscale” when it comes to fashion. I will admit, it is not common to see someone in Adidas soccer pants or sweatpants, but it’s not like these people are wearing dresses and heels every single day. Although my goal is to not to “bum out” when it comes to dressing up for my classes.
You have probably been waiting for my speel on the nightlife in London. But thanks for reading this far. Let me tell you the obvious first: People in London LOVE to drink. Absolutely love to drink. Casual drinking is more common than you think. Every single store that I have gone to so far, there are walls of alcohol ranging from cider to beer to vodka to my favorite, Malibu. Carrying alcohol on the streets is perfectly legal as well as public intoxication. Which makes me think…is this the reason why the streets are dirty? I am not a heavy drinker to begin with, and I will make sure these Brits don’t make me into one. My experience with alcohol has been a rollercoaster ride so far as it has already reach the peak of the ride. I assure you it will go all downhill from here, which is a great thing. There has been some type of party or club every single night. I would always encounter one of my flatmates or friends from the other flats who are going out to party each night. Apparently, this city never dies. Coming in to this whole study abroad experience, I was assuming that these Brits can’t hang (search up this phrase if you don’t know what it means). But it’s me who can’t. It’s me that just wants to stay in bed and sleep. All I can say is that Keep Partying and Keep Drinking, London (but don’t include me in it most of the time).
Final note: Jet lag is real, everyone. Last night I slept at 6AM..the damn fire alarm went off again at 9:15AM, then woke up at 1PM today. I’m glad we don’t start school until next Monday which gives me several more days to fix my sleeping schedule.