I am sure you’ve heard it time and time again, first impressions are extremely important. However, first impressions aren’t just with people. As long as you are seeing or experiencing an object or place for the first time you will, either consciously or subconsciously, form a first impression.
Well, it being my first time in the U.K. I began forming many first impressions; from the naiive touristy ones to the more thoughtful impressions, each will stick with me as I learn more about the culture here.
Before you continue, check out the video my roommate (from here and at school) made, it will give you a visual representation of some of the topics I discuss below (and subscribe to her channel while you’re at it* shameless plug)
Getting off the Plane at Heathrow Airport (a.k.a Jet lagged thoughts)
Mind you I took a red eye to get to London so almost anything I saw that was different seemed amazing and noteworthy.
- “Woah these toilets are really cool”
- “Why do they have a red/yellow light on the street light? What does that mean…?”
- “A lot of people drive motor cycles here… I wonder if they have many accidents”
- “Wow!! Gas is so cheap!!” (Then I realized it was not in $)
- “I like the way the men dress… blue suits! Hello!”
- “There’s nobody driving that car!!! Oh, wait, they’re just on the other side, right”
My flight arrived on Monday morning at 8:00 am a.k.a rush hour which added an extra hour on to my airport to hotel commute, but hey, I was in LONDON so there was no time to mope!
Walking Around the City
London is a big city comprised of many neighborhoods that differ in size and atmosphere. It actually reminds me a lot of Boston – one of the main reasons why I fell in love this city so quickly.
- “WHICH SIDE OF THE SIDE WALK DO I WALK ON? When in doubt, just go to the left”
- “Where can I just get a normal iced coffee? Ah! Maybe Starbucks! Would I like a white or black coffee? Uh white, no, black, uh you know what, I’ll just take a water”
- Eat-in (for here) food and take away (to go) food are two completely different prices
- You think you’re getting a good deal on a purchase, then you essentially double it and that’s what you just paid in dollars
After a long first day, Stacy and I stopped on the rooftop right across from St. Paul’s Cathedral which gave us a beautiful view overlooking the city. Here, right in front of us, was a decadent architectural masterpiece dating back to it’s consecration in 1706. On the other hand, off in the distance was at least 40-50 cranes (believe me I tried counting them all) toppling over skyscrapers mid-construction. It was a view of a city that holds it’s 2,000+ year history close but does not fear a modern world filled with office buildings that resemble space ships and city halls in the shape of eggs.
The first impressions of this place, the culture and the people go on and on. From writing them down, as insignificant or dumb as they may be, it reminded me to take each first impression with a grain of salt because things can change as you begin to immerse yourself in a culture. For instance, a week ago I was distraught over the lack of regular iced coffee, so a few days later I agreed to an iced latte and today, I did away with the ice and went right to a cappuccino. See guys, things change. By the end of this trip I’ll probably just be throwing back cups of espresso 🙂
Now that I am already halfway through this week I am getting excited for this weekend where I have some friends coming to visit! Thanks for following along my travels (and selfies) thus far, I hope you continue to do so. If you have any suggestions of where I should go while I’m here PLEASE let me know!