My first week in London was a lot different than I had expected. To be honest, I wasn’t ready for so much culture shock. I was maybe a little cocky having lived in Holland as a kid, even though I was just a child. “They speak the same language” I thought to myself. I read guidebooks that said “People love talking about the weather” and that there are Red Foxes that roam the streets. I definitely didn’t believe that foxes lived in the city, and as for talking about the weather- I just understood that to the universal thing people did when they were out of things to say. People love talking about the weather here, they hate that it rains, but at the same time, I feel like they love that they get to talk about it. And later that night as we walked back from Russell Square we saw a Red Fox feet from our apartment door cruising around. So after the first day, it really sunk in I was in for a very new experience. In addition to the weather and the fox, there are seemingly countless other things that have stuck out to me. I still cannot get over how nice all of the architecture is here, especially when compared to New York City, which is what I am used to. I love NYC, but it is just different. I still do not understand how the city was so clean when there are no trash cans. And I think none of us were ready for it to be light out from 6AM to 10PM or, 22:00. Between Jetlag, different hours of sunlight and army time, nothing made sense anymore. I was very impressed by the Tube, an easy way to get around anywhere which really opens up the whole city as traveling to and from is effortless. I think I could get anything I wanted because of it, as the city is so big– except maybe ice. This is the one thing that has really bugged me. You think by now Europe would have heard about ice. While sipping a hot water that we all didn’t realize costed “just 2.5 pounds”, I think we all collectively realized we would have to learn how to live in the city. We bought ice trays. We started cooking our own meals. Alex started looking both ways before crossing the street. I’m expecting a lot more to go wrong, and I’m looking forward to it as I can tell this is the start of an awesome opportunity.
This is a group of us outside Beating Retreat, the soldier memorial.