Week 1 of London has been an exciting foreshadow to what will happen on this trip. My arrival to London began with jet lag, but I was able to continue through the day by trying the local food. I began my first day in London trying Indian food at the Taste of India. Though it was a bit pricey, I am now a fan of Indian food. Tours of my local area were given by my school’s staff later that day. I was amazed by the amount of freedom I had to explore the city and its culture. It was only the first day, but I was optimistic about my experience in London.
I then spent the following week attending classes and exoploring the city. The classes I’m taking, Intro to Art and Biology 2, are located in the University College of London. Talking to British students made me come out of my comfort zone. Though British and American cultures are similar, being immersed in a different culture has helped me understand my identity as an American in relation to the outside world. The outgoing nature of American culture tends to stand out in the United Kingdom’s reserved society. Asking strangers in the supermarket for advice on choosing cheese throws them off but they tend to not mind the conversation. It is probably because they understand I’m not from the country. I sometimes still walk on the right side of the sidewalk (called pavement over here).
Food here is expensive. Smaller dishes are offered at higher prices but they tend to taste good regardless. The Indian restaurant I ate at on the first day is a good example. However, sushi seems to be an exception. Sushi is served in higher quantities at lower prices.
Much of the things that London has is similar the Tampa but with a European twist. Their Publix is a Waitrose. Distinctive chip bags have different names on them.
So far, I have visited Buckingham Palace, the London Tower, the London Bridge, the Shard, and the Natural History Museum. The Shard is my current favorite. Looking at London from such a high altitude was breath taking and makes you realize how small the world really is.
With the first week coming to an end, I hope to continue learning about myself and how I fit into the world.