The first week in the U.K. has been a great cultural learning experience. Having lived and worked in Washington D.C. metro area over the past three summers, I was constantly comparing and contrasting things about D.C. and London. With London being a major city and economic power, I assumed there would be busy streets and a tense atmosphere during the work days. However, after spending a few days exploring the city and visiting various business entities, I have seen a different side of the city that was surprising. D.C. is always hectic and the culture of the area is that people are always rushing to get to their next place. On the contrary, London was very easy to walk around during the day, as the streets were uncongested. Also, people walking or biking on the way to and from work seemed to be enjoying the nice weather and their journey, rather than being solely focused on merely arriving at work. The street atmosphere in London seems to be more easy going than other major U.S. cities I have visited.
Additionally, in the major American cities, it is common practice for people to leave their office and go straight home after work, but in London it is popular practice for people to go by a pub after work to grab a few drinks and socialize with friends in the city. The London pubs are a communal area for people to bond, whether it be by watching football matches, playing games, or discussing their daily activities. This sociable aspect of London’s pubs helps people to stay connected with their community throughout various stages of life. The social aspect of the pubs creates a casual and relaxed atmosphere on the streets that I have not experienced in the U.S. during the work week. Hence, I am looking forward to more city travelling over the coming weeks and experiencing more aspects of the British Culture in person.