GUEST POST: Oh, that’s proper.

Ashley is a friend of mine who was also my very 1st visitor from back home a few weeks ago. She’s a freelance writer & tutor. For more about her, check out Mochalocks In The City or follow her on Twitter @middleofmarch. Here’s her guest post, my first ever on this blog.
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April 5, 2011 – It’s been two weeks already since I’ve been across the pond. I’m talking about London, England. I took time out from being a busy American and I actually took a vacation to a country that I always wanted to visit.

Can I say that I love their accent? LOVE IT. With a capital L.

My trip was only for a week, but I suggest staying there for at least 2 weeks or more if you can afford it. I already made up my mind that I have to stay longer than a week on my next trip to England.

First rule of thumb when arriving in England: Learn their English. A lot of their words mean the same but they use different words from American English. For example:

Television/T.V.= Tele.

Bathroom = Toilets. (I know, this sounded weird as hell to me when I first heard it coming out of the mouth an airport employee.)

Garbage = Rubbish

Parking Lot = Garage (pronounced GAH {like the 1st syllable of the name Gary}-rage)

And so on, but you will learn their way of speaking, etc. as you venture out of your hotel room.

I was lucky enough to stay the week with my friend “Spinster”. Spinster lives in a nice little neighborhood – lots of shopping within 5-10 minutes walking distance from her house, and close enough to public transportation.

The food is good. I didn’t notice a difference between British food and American food at all but as expected, some items on the menu have different names, i.e. French Fries = Chips. And believe me when I say I’ve had enough chips in a week, to not care to have them again for another month. But you’re on vacation right? So who’s really worrying about how much you’re going to eat? British food portions are a lot smaller than American food portions. So a large size plate of rice and chicken is really a medium.

The top two restaurants I suggest you visit while in London are 1) Nando’s (it’s an American version of Dallas BBQ or even Applebee’s) and 2) Haandi (Indian restaurant). We went to one Nando’s restaurant in south-east London and another one in south-west London. With Haandi, there are only 4 of them in the world, 2 of which are in England. Spinster and I went to the one in Kingsbridge, London.

There’s no need to rent a car while you’re there because London has a good source of public transportation. If you decide to drive though, take note that the steering wheel is on the right side of the car.

What’d I love about London? It’s a little version of NYC, but it still has its old but classical buildings intact, some of them with a modern twist. For instance, they still use the antique door key.

I love that you can park any way on the street (with the hood facing each other). Crossing the streets take time to get used to because when you’re on the left side of the street, the cars are coming from your right, and vice versa.

The (over-ground) trains and the tube are very easy to use. I LOVED the fact that everywhere you go they have CCTV (security camera), especially on the bus. If there is one thing NYC can steal from London, then it should make sure all buses have a camera installed. The buses are a breeze to take as well. They use an electronic ticketing system to read the Oyster cards you use to pay to get on the bus. The same Oyster cards and electronic tickets can also be used on the trains and tubes.

What’d I hate about London? I hate that the sidewalks are small as hell but you get used to it after awhile.

Overall this trip was a learning experience, as any other trip is. But I loved it and like I said, London deserves a second trip. It’s worth the 6-8 hour plane ride.

Cheerio!

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2 thoughts on “GUEST POST: Oh, that’s proper.

  1. Hey we lost our UK virginity around the same time! I was there in March for the first time and loved it…bec it reminded me so much of NYC. Unfortunately I didnt have as much luck with the food (great Indian, that was about it)…but also never noticed the sidewalks. (look left!) Best part about London…youre in a completely new country within a couple hours by train. Can’t wait to get back.

    • Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for visiting this blog, and London will be here waiting for you to return. :-)

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