I moved to London.
While back home visiting family and friends in July, I spent a lot of time reflecting on the passed year.
What do I like most about life in the UK?
Do I feel like I’ve fit in?
Am I accustomed to British culture?
The answer is….
I’m still not used to unexpected mini rain storms,
Or the constant use of the word “sorry”.
When people ask, I now refer to Lady as a cross, not a mutt,
And I say a meal “tastes nice” instead of “tastes good”.
I mostly drink tea, but if I do have a coffee, I’ll order it as a “skinny latte” instead of “skim”.
Looking right when crossing the street has become automatic,
And I make sure to always keep to the left side of the path.
My vocal intonation changes from time to time depending on how often I’ve been around Brits. My work colleagues get excited and praise me when this happens. My husband calls me bluff.
Thanks to autocorrect (and fear of being pointed out from work associates), I now type with ‘ou’ instead of ‘o’ and ‘s’ instead of ‘z’.
Although I’ve certainly picked up some British habits, if I had to leave tomorrow, I would feel like I haven’t had enough time. It’s feels like I’ve just barely scratched the surface and am only now beginning to understand the English way of life.
For now…..here are some of my favorite bits :)
- Favorite part of living in London...The neighborhoods. Not only are there endless pockets of the city to explore, but they’re so charming, so green, so pretty!
- Least favorite part of living in London…grey skies. I had a physical reaction to lack of Vitamin D and dance with joy whenever the city is blessed with a sunny day.
- Favorite neighborhoods…Marylebone, Hampstead, Notting Hill.
- Favorite British English word…Shattered.
- Favorite museum…The Wallace Collection and Queen’s Gallery.
- Favorite park…Hampstead Heath.
- Favorite drink….Cider. I know this exists Stateside, but I didn’t get into it until the move, so now I associate it with life here.
- Favorite place to take a visitor.….Borough Market.
- Favorite Afternoon Tea…Sketch.
- Favorite Tube line…Jubilee (so fast, so clean)
- Favorite country jaunt….Cotswolds.
- Favorite airport….City. It’s mostly business travellers, so everyone knows what they’re doing, which makes the whole experience a breeze.
- Favorite market….Borough Market, again.
- Favorite train station….King’s Cross. It’s the Grand Central of London. Beautiful.
- Favorite high street….Marylebone High Street. Perfect mix of mainstream and niche shops and restaurants.
- Favorite traditional British food…Welsh rarebit. Bread, good. Mustard, good. Cheese, goooooood.
- Favorite English moment…that time when I saw the Queen up close.
- I’m most grateful for…Facetime. There’s no replacement for a hug from a loved one, but with Facetime, I don’t miss a beat with my favorite people. In fact, I “see them” more than I used to in the States.
- Things I miss most about New York (besides family and friends)…Sushi (it exists, but either Nobu level or fast-food level), affordable manicures,
- Things I no longer have, but don’t miss….Air conditioner at home. It never gets hot enough to really miss it.
- What’s on the horizon for year two? More travel and adventure. So far we’re planning the following: Indian, China, Burgundy, Portugal, Austria, Scotland, Barcelona, Monaco.