So…here I am, in England. My first impressions of this new continent aren’t much different than being in New York City, if I’m being honest, but really, how different are all big English-speaking cities anyway? The larger Asian ones (Tokyo, Seoul, Kuala Lumpur, Taipei…) they all do feel really really different from the western world, but apart from the landmarks that obviously give it away as London, it doesn’t feel any different. And that’s okay!
It’s been a very nice change to come to a place that feels like home after so long away from the familiar. We went into a supermarket called ASDA and I nearly squealed with delight because it was a REAL (to me) grocery store! With actual choices and variety! And everyone understands me! We’ve pretty much been nonstop since arriving and the first thing I’ll say is that three full days is not enough time for this city.
Everything does seem a bit more posh when everyone has a British accent. And all the royalty! We went to the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. I’m not sure how much of it is true to tradition and how much is put on for the tourists…though I’m pretty sure the bit where the royal marching band played Michael Jackson probably wasn’t going on hundreds of years ago.
Seeing all these things with my own eyes just blows me away. People are way more familiar with Europe and its landmarks and culture than Asia, so that’s probably why I have over a hundred likes on my picture with Big Ben (which is a lot for me). It’s also why I’m really excited to share these photos with people because they are so recognizable. I’ve been putting myself in European daydreams for as long as I can remember, so finally experiencing it is outrageous.
Here are some observations I’ve made about England so far:-It really is cold and rainy.
-It’s really expensive. Really, really expensive.
-The shopping is unbelievable. Oxford street about blew my mind away. In the US, we have only a few lower-end cost shops like H&M and Forever21. There are SO MANY MORE here just like it. The fashion and shopping is insane and I’d kill to have a buttload of ££££££ to spend.
-The public transportation system is colossal. Between the overground and underground and buses it can get a bit confusing at times. Luckily we are familiar with how subways and things work, but I couldn’t imagine this being the first time for someone using public transit.
-the money is super annoying. They have coins for 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 pence (cents) along with a £1 and £2 coins as well. The paper money doesn’t even start until £5. My wallet weighs about a million tons.