Written by: Mindy Moore
It’s been an exciting first week traveling to a new country and settling in to my new flat. It doesn’t seem right to ignore mention of the exceptionally dry and warm weather in London during the past week. The horrible weather I anticipated is no where to be seen and I haven’t opened my umbrella once in my first 7 days!
Coincidentally, I ended up on the same flight as two girls from Ohio State and we arrived in London just in time for ‘rush hour.’ The typical 10 minutes max journey to our home in South Kensington, took roughly an hour and a half. Picture this…3 girls, 6 HUGE suitcases, 8+ flights of stairs, 0 elevators, and a packed subway with Londoners trying to get to work on a Monday morning. Not to mention, we were almost run over by mistakenly looking right, rather than left when crossing the street. Lets just say it was an exciting adventure, one that every new traveler must expect, and we learned very quickly the Dos and Don’ts of the London Underground & general street traffic.
After turning around twice, our destination was in sight and I finally took a moment to “smell the roses” and take in the scenes around me. No kidding, my very first observation of this city was that everyone has ‘party plates!’ Yes, it is true, I quickly realized that Londoner’s all drive with yellow plates. Prior to arriving, our living space was not verified, so I was pleasantly surprised to arrive at a newly refurbished flat in an extremely wealthy part of town. A local told us the next day that our flat would sell on the market for approximately 30 million pounds (a whopping $45,000,000)! No joke, literally an hour after hearing this a police brigade drove by and Sophie, Prince Edward’s wife, was inside.
The remainder of my first week was spent exploring – Wimbledon, Harrod’s Annual Summer Sale (a 4.5 acre in size department
store ladies), the London Eye, Tower of London, Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens & Palace, Calvary Museum (Site of the 2012 Olympic Volleyball Games), and great local pubs to watch World Cup matches. My first moment of ‘culture shock,’ occurred while searching frantically for a pub that was playing the USA vs. Algeria match which started at the exact time of the England vs. Slovenia game. Our search ended at the Texas Embassy, one of the only places showing the match, packed full of USA fans & standing room only. It ‘felt like home’ when the place exploded after Donovan’s goal in extra time & it was better than any World Cup game I’ve ever experienced in the States. The atmosphere during futbol games is outrageous & everyone young and old cares about the English team.
My week of relaxation and exploration is just about to come to an end, and Monday I begin my internship, the real reason I’ve made this journey. My number one internship priority: NETWORK….engage in conversation with everyone & anyone, and take all opportunities to learn about the English business culture.
Moore Next Time,