Much has happened since you all last tuned in. I’ve had a change of scenery and I am a little further away from the beach and a lot closer to London. So close to London infact, I’m IN London.
On the way over here, I had a little jaunt in Thailand and Morocco. Some time in the next little while if I can find the inspiration I might put a ramble together for you all on that part of my adventure. No promises.
I’ve lived in South East Queensland for all my life. Don’t misunderstand me, the Gold Coast and Brisbane are both amazing and I miss the beach every single day, however you know the saying that the world is a book and those who do not travel only read one page? I thought it was time to skip through a few chapters. I should also add (confess) that as soon as somebody (the internet) told me that I would not be allowed to have a Youth working Visa in a few months I turned into a defiant ‘youth’ and decided I wasn’t going to let anybody stop me.
So, I’m here! I thought I should share my early observations of living in London.
Firstly, it is amazing! So full of life, culture, history and quirkiness. It is a place where famous people mix with us everyday folk. There is always something happening and somewhere to explore. As long as you don’t stand to the right on the escalator to the tube or walk on the footpath without watching, you can literally be whoever you want to be and nobody bats an eyelid.
London puts on a terrific summer. The beautiful long days, where you leave work and you still have 5.5 hours of sunshine, how could this not make you happy? So may parks to sit in, pubs to sprawl out of (no need to worry about staying inside the pub here, just pop on out onto the street, nobody minds!) and general people watching as Londoners take advantage of the beautiful warm weather, soaking up the sunshine and being outside as much as possible.
Transport is one of the most talked about topics in London that and weather. So today, there was much to talk about. As my very dear London expert friend reminded me today, it’s a cultural way of life here.
Talking about transport and I hate to add in a sad note, however today, according to Londoners, the world nearly stopped as there was a Tube Strike. There was chaos and stress across the city. You could feel the blood pressure of the people walking past you. People were seen yelling and screaming, cars stood still in the streets, they crammed onto buses and huffed and sighed their way through the day.
Now, to balance out the weather and transport conversation, when said weather gets ‘out of control’ (most recently hot), it sends the transport system into shock. Trains go missing (how do you loose a train?), and everybody panics and has a look on their face as if they have just eaten a breakfast of razor blades.
As we know I can talk, I have popped a few of my most recent transport and weather observations into dot point for you to skip through nice and quick. Londoners really do melt in the hot weather.
- They love the heat however anything over 28 degrees and they cannot physically cope. It gets dangerous to be English in these conditions. I am however cruising around in my element.
- (When) the tube (is running) it IS hot. Even for this warm weather hardy Aussie, it’s like an oven down there.. it’s not quite the underground hell on earth that said red faced Londoners make it out to be, but it is pretty hot and sticky.
- Getting a seat on the tube/bus/train is a tactical operation – people will near knock you down to get to the doorway before you just incase there is only one left. Even if they are only going one stop.
- The ‘outfit check’ is a legitimate morning weather check. That my London Expert Friend has taught me It can be all shorts, t-shirts and thongs (UK translation: Flip Flops) one day and coats and scarves the next day. A quick check out the window to see what the earlier commuters are adorned with is much more reliable than a weather app.
- Even after the outfit check, I still recommend taking a cardigan and some kind of rain protection
- Because of the above, your handbag needs to be 100 times bigger than it does on the Gold Coast. I’ve been tempted to just pack my carry on size suitcase for a quick trip to the shops
- Londoners rush everywhere. They don’t even know why they are doing it. They can’t stop. If you don’t run, you might be forced to wait 2 minutes for the next tube and if you are a true Londoner, you’ve then got that ‘just swallowed those razor blades face again’
In other news, I’ve been having fun with a bit of my Aussie positivity and a simple genuine greeting, stops the Londoners in their tracks, they look back at you, shocked and for a moment they slow down. In the harsh city, the soft, gentle moments are very precious and they stand out even more . Sweet moments of clarity:
- Smiling at strangers
- Finding a quiet street
- A slow walk home with a close friend in the middle of the city with nobody around
- Happy dogs
- Sitting back and watching the tourists take selfies by Tower bridge and seeing the joy on their faces and their excitement at being in LONDON!
- Spotting something amusing (picture muscly fit guy doing stretches and looking cool in the park and very tiny happy fluffy puppy comes screaming through the park bouncing around him and jumps all over him and then runs off)
Well, even though it has been 7 months to catch up on, that is enough rambling for now. If you have any other London observations you want to discuss, please pop them down in the comments.
Here are some visuals.