I'm not going to lie, the first few hours in London were a bit of a nightmare. This was due to both the cultural shock and the unexpected disaster that was completely out of my control. I first arrived here not actually thinking that I was here. I mean think about it, your on a plane for about 15 hours and you start thinking that maybe you actually never left the airport. This maybe due to the child that kicked my sandwich or the fact that I have never been abroad before. Ok ok I went to Canada...but does that really count?
So I get here and I meet this amazing girl with an awesome rich accent from Essex which is basically "the hood" of London. Well, she goes on and on about how much she loves LA and I go on and on about how obsessed I am with her accent until I realize that I need to get to my dorm. So she flags down cab after cab until finally she calls one who gives her a good rate. As any proper American I should know first-hand that anything good don't come cheap! As Mama said "Don't take no wooden nickels." I took a wooden nickel and wound up probably the only girl in London with a taxi driver who didn't speak English and had no idea where he was going. It's always fun getting lost in a new city let alone a whole different country...right?
I finally arrive at a gorgeous dorm room that's new, and warm, and wonderful and the reception desk tells me my room was not ready. I wound up sleeping in the lobby. Now you might ask was it that bad? Well actually it was worse than you could imagine. First two hours in a new city and I'm sleeping like a really uncomfortable homeless person!
Check-in time finally comes and I get to my wonderful room and sleep right past the first tour of our residential area. I can hear my Godmother's voice screaming "get to know the area before you do anything." Apparently I'm really good at listening to mothers! Good thing they had another tour at 4:00, got familiar with the area and everything worked out for the best until of course I got stuck in my first lift.
Whats a lift? You may ask. A lift is an enclosed area in which a person travels within a building to get to another floor - an elevator. Yes, only in London! On the bright side the security guard wanted me to get back in the same lift in which my life flashed before my eyes ...ummmmm no (in a British accent).
So that was my first couple hours here, now I would be doing this amazing city a disservice if I didn't mention the highlights so here they are:
- "The tube" is an awesome navigating system in which your body parts will rest upon you neighbours in a way that may make you feel like you know that person a bit more than you know yourself. Not awkward..at all...but seriously though.
- Lifts= elevators
- "Teaching your grandma to suck eggs" is an actual expression meaning, well, I don't really know to be honest.
- Pubs are for beer...bars are for shots.
- The drinking culture is not at all like Penn State! People just have a little bit more pride. They understand that they represent more than just themselves and would be a terrible addition to humanity by ending up in a ditch on Saturday night.
- And lastly the tube is like a live theatre. Everyone has their own story and if you look hard enough and listen long enough you may just hear the rhythm of a song that is different than anything you've ever heard.