After all that bragging about going to London, I haven’t said much about my adventures here so far. Allow me to catch you up on a few things that I’ve learned and enjoyed.
- I love the Tube. Traveling on the Underground is fantastic, in spite of the occasional overcrowding/weird smell/heat. The Oyster cards we bought allow us to easily get wherever we want to go in the city, and it’s great time for conversing with the group. I wish we had a metro system at home. Plus I just love imitating the announcer: “Mind the gap!”
- The food is different, but it’s not a bad sort of different. While we can’t find iced sweet tea, I’m quite fond of the hot tea here. Tesco, the grocery store down the street from us, is filled with all sorts of interesting foods. Becca and I especially enjoy the yogurt. I’ve also enjoyed some foods similar to home, with only slight though decidedly British differences, notably the strange condiment selections offered with burgers and “chips.” Mushy peas seem like a waste of perfectly good vegetables—why mash peas when they taste good as they are?—but I haven’t come across many other vegetables so far anyway. Pasties, on the other hand, are absolutely delicious. Flaky pastry with savory fillings like “cheese, tomato and basil” (with potatoes and onions, too) and “chicken mushroom.” I was so busy eating my pasty that I forgot to snap a picture!
- Almost everything about the Olympics is incredible. We’re watching women’s gymnastics on BBC as I write this, and I keep getting distracted by their amazing talent. Although I’m very excited for “the tight machine that is Team USA,” seeing so much excitement on the home turf for Team GB has made me quite sympathetic towards Great Britain. They have some lovely marketing campaigns for the Olympics as well. I’m also absolutely thrilled to be over here, to be surrounded by so many different cultures and to celebrate these athletes and the amazing countries they represent. Watching the Olympics on the BBC isn’t bad, either.
- It’s such a strange feeling to be able to visit all these London icons that I’ve seen so many times on the television. It’s surreal. I’ve stood near Big Ben a few times already, and it still hasn’t sunk in completely. I’m in awe a lot.
- The place we’re staying is absolutely adorable. I could live here forever. Except for the mouse that may or may not be eating our bread. He’s gotta go.
- I’ve been working on my British accent.
- John Wesley’s church was not what I expected it to be, but I am very glad that Hillary and Will and I got to visit this morning. It was a very cool experience, despite our rainy trek back to the nearest tube station.
- While my British accent isn’t really improving, my understanding of producing news packages is improving greatly. I’m also getting better at setting up the camera and tripod quickly, considering I was rather out of practice at the start of the summer. Our second news package is finally complete, and there are many more to come!