Four weeks. That’s all the time I have left in London so it seems a little strange that I should start posting my blogs now. Well, not really. I’m two weeks into my internship with the Co-operative Party here in London and I’ve now got a good handle on the differences between British life and American life as well as the differences in government.
First things first, the English language has two distinct branches: American and British. There are moments where I have no idea what my British friends are saying because all they used are colloquialisms! Second, tea is big deal here. Do not mess with the tea! Another difference is public transportation. Not in the sense that transportation is different here – I think the concept is the same all over the world and London does have a fantastic public transport system – but more in the way people interact on it, as in they don’t. One of my quoted someone saying “God would not have invented the Evening Standard [the free evening newspaper] if God meant for us to make eye contact”. Yes, no one makes eye contact! If you by chance happen to, look away immediately. A common solution to this (1) reading a newspaper often combined with (2) listening to an iPod. The Brits do not like to come into contact with strangers. Going off the newspaper point, one thing I like here is that there newspaper distributed outside the Tube stations for free – a morning edition (The Metro) and evening edition (The Evening standard).
There are, unfortunately, some true stereotypes I have encountered whilst here. One is the loud, brash American stereotype. Yes, we are loud comparatively. Really loud. If you are sitting two seats over from a British pair having a conversation that only indicators are their moving lips; otherwise, if going by sound alone, you would never know. Another is the American enthusiasm. Take, for example the Harry Potter premiere. In the States, it is a production: midnight showings, costumes, etc. Here in London: not so much. First, there are no midnight premieres. Second, absolutely no one would even consider dressing up for such an event. Third, my friends and I arrived half an hour before the showing on the first day it came out and found good seats without too much difficulty. Shocking, isn’t it? But Brits just don’t show as much emotion as we Americans do. They are all about their “stiff upper lip”. I’m serious! I will end on this note: despite the differences between the States and Britain, I love it here! Next blog: Parliament and its inner workings!