Through the alleyways…
What I love about where I live, is that there are so many secret passageways that only a true Londoner would be able to point out. Every day on my way to class I pass through a long twisted alleyway that is covered with ivy and slate stone. If you look up you see a lonesome window that unfortunately does not have much of a view. You have to walk fast because all of the locals on their way to work use this passage to cut through the street just as I do!
There were definitely a lot of things I wasn’t aware of when I came to London. I honestly didn’t think it would be that different from New York City… and in a few ways I wasn’t wrong. In London, everyone uses contactless cards. That means rather than MetroCards you can just tap your cards or phone against the reader and it will automatically go through. There isn’t that pesky chip card that you have to insert everywhere you go. You also aren’t really supposed to tip in London, a kind tip is maybe one or two pounds as opposed to the standard 15-20% that we leave in New York. The waiter brings the credit card reader to you when you are ready to pay for the check, rather than you giving them your card and they do it for you. So cool! Everything is so much easier here and already thought out. There is no wait, no underdevelopment. It is as if everything is just made for the people. The humor here is also different. I went to see Matilda on Broadway and it was so interesting, there were certain jokes that were made that everyone else in the audience laughed at, while I was sitting there so confused… Another thing about London is that the cars never stop for pedestrians, that’s just not “the norm” there. I’m being serious when I say that they will literally run you over if you’re not careful. People also are pretty aggressive when walking on the street and not mindful of others. Everyone is just going so fast all the time.
People immediately flock to the pubs after work and they are usually crowded from around 6-11 which is when almost every establishment shuts down for the night. Almost all bars or pubs close at 11 and when they are closing they ring a bell. I’ve never seen that done in America! Drinks are pretty expensive but also, everything is really expensive. It’s hard to find good deals because everything is just expensive wherever you go which has definitely taken a toll on my bank account. I really like grocery shopping and they have all these cool deals at the local grocery stores such as “Tesco”, “Sainsbury” and “Waitrose”. I really like grocery shopping for myself here and I’ve cooked up some really great meals.