Friday, February 23, 2007

They got the "foggy" part right.

I don't know if it's me, or large metropolises in general, but after 2 days in London, I am totally confident that I could move here tomorrow and be totally fine. This is my feeling with most big English-speaking cities I meet (unlike small communities, ie Nantucket or Middletown, where after a few weeks/days/hours I get that, "uhhh, this was fun but its time to go back to the real world" feeling).

There would be some adjustments though, namely the weather. It really is grey all the effin time here. R says that this causes her to be uber-depressed most of the time and really has a detrimental effect on her work/social life. After 5 months in Chicago, I'm pretty excited about the fact that I've worn flip flops the entire time I've been here (my toes have been kinda cold and wet, but they haven't fallen off yet which is what would happen if I tried to pull that kind of stunt in Chi-town).

Other than the weather, everything seems to be very similar to any other large city...the streets are complicated (no grid system whatsoever), but you write down directions until you figure out... the tube is fine, the buses are amazing (you know those sweet signs they have in DC that tell you when the next train is coming? They have those for the buses here! Well played, London. Well played).

Tonight, R stayed in to study and get rid of a massive headache and I went out to explore and do some shopping, I found myself completely confident walking down the street-- and realized I've never NOT felt confident (with the exception of Capetown, but that was such a sensory overload it was to be expected-- and even after a week or so, I walked down long street or the waterfront with complete ease -- although I never attempted public transportation, so that was probably a false confidence on my part).

I love that I'm a city person. I love that after 24 hours in a strange place, in a strange country I have the mental capacity to say, "Nah, I'll just wander around until I find something to do."

Tomorrow is Oxford. Then Sunday and Monday are more exploring. 5 days is almost perfect for visiting London, incase any of you were planning a trek. Although, I have to warn you-- the vintage-y red phone booths that show up in every single movie that's set in London are practically wallpapered in flyers for phone sex operators and hookers!! I was shocked and appalled at this, and rather disappointed that none of my mates who have been here warned me about this crushing blow to my childhood dreams.

Also, most of the parks look really similar, so its probably not the smartest thing to blurt out, "That was the park in the Parent Trap!" while walking by the first park you see.

Photos and other helpful hints to come once I'm back on the other side of the pond.


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She's pint-sized and amazing.