One of my favorite books, Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, starts with Anna Olliphant listing all she knows about Paris – the city she will be spending her senior year of high school. So, in true Anna form, I’ll now list what I know about London, England: my home base for the next five months.
- Everyone rides “the Tube,” and they ride it silently. Your Americanness shows if you talk while riding – especially if you mention the heat.
- Though Queen Elizabeth is still the “queen” she is mostly a figurehead, and America media paints her as a fairly snobbish.
- Kate Middleton is God’s gift to the UK.
- UK, Britain, and England seem to be used interchangeably, but CGP Grey set me straight. Watch here.
- People are inexplicably more stylish – though most of it is black, tan, or off white.
- It’s expensive to live in London.
- There’s a London Bridge, but there’s also a Tower Bridge and these are not the same thing.
- Buckingham Palace is only one of many English royalty residences.
- Light purple is the color to wear after coming out of your mourning period (though this observation comes from Downton Abbey, might be a bit dated).
- Hyde Park is the most famous park, though there are many parks around the city.
- Greater London is the name of the wide area – the City of London is only about a square mile large.
- Food is notably bland, and peanut butter is impossible to find.
- Related: London has tried to remedy the bland food problem by having a large amount of Indian restaurants around the city. Going out for curry is a regular pastime.
- Museums: Tate, British, Victoria and Albert, Imperial War, Tower of London.
- People: Queen Elizabeth, David Cameron, the Beatles, Charles Dickens, Harry Potter.
No doubt I missed a lot. Can’t wait to learn more!