Monday, February 26, 2007

Random thoughts on London

I am finding myself becoming too used to the way things are over here, and I often forget how different, even small things, can be over here as opposed to at home in Aussie Land.

Some of the things I have noted to date...quite random are;

- bathroom plugs are always on chains, there are always drains in the bowl so you cannot flood your bathroom and if people have baths, they are just huge!

- hotels never seem to provide face cloths and are renowned for providing super flat pillows

- hot water radiators and they are simply the best for drying clothes indoors quickly

- the choice of papers to read on a Saturday (or any day) is astounding, though I have been drawn towards The Guardian and the Observer on a Sunday.

- English comedies - Peep Show, Catherine Tate; Two Pints and a packet of crisps; Green Wing

- Boots the Chemist - the UK equivalent of National Pharmacies

- Pubs on every corner, though this is quite annoying where we live - especially for the boy - as there are none nearby that have Sky Sports, which is crucial for those Arsenal games (not me of course...as I have decided to support Everton, though they currently suck more than Arsenal)

- Riding bikes without helmets - i nearly bought a bike for this reason alone, but people drive like mental heads over here so its probably best that I am on the bus with the psycho driver rather than being hit by him

- The number of times I have been down at Oxford Circus and while I was there someone has been hit by a bus astounds me (3 times to date), and I really truly only go down there about once a month (shops are too tempting otherwise)

- An interesting find was Barcardi Breezers on tap in a Tex Mex restaurant in Doncaster (up North near Hull) where I had the pleasure of spending 4 days for work. (note - there will be no pictures on this trip and this is as big a mention as it gets, because showing any would be the equivalent of showing pictures of visiting Wingfield!!)

- ridiculously uneven paving; this is a grandma grumble this one, and its why Londoners always look at the ground when walking, if you don't you're gonna fall over.

- having to have my shoes re-heeled on a regular basis, I am talking once a month, if I don't where boots or sneakers (trainers for the English) when walking to and from the station to work. I am unfortunately not the only one with this problem and its damn annoying!

- everything's in pints....drinks, milk, yogurt

- they don't have Delis, they have Off-licences, and you can buy alcohol in pint sized cans

- chavs (whom are the equivalent of ferals) people who wear pony tails to the side, lots of fake gold (bling), fake Burberry and consider trainers and tracksuits to be the height of fashion

- the toilets are impossible to flush....you cannot just push the button you have to hold it down to make it work

- so much on-line shopping it is just amazing - but I love it!

- pedestrian crossings (like the Abbey Road one) are everywhere and you just walk up to them and the traffic all stops for you. We tried this at similar ones in Brussels, not realising they worked on lights and nearly got ourselves killed, though I blame Danni, I was following her!! :-)

- damn the deciduous trees, makes for a very grey London in the Winter time

- I love the multiculturalism...you name the country and you'll see a person from there on a daily basis. Our Deli people are Indians, the shoe repair people are Polish, our cafe guys are Turkish and they are the best!!

- Blackberry mobile phones - people are obsessed with phones like these over here, everyone has them

- MSG, why oh why must this be in food. Its banned in Aus and the US, but I am allergic and it means I cannot eat Chinese food or Indian food without stomach issues the next day

- front loading washing machines, they don't do top loading, and I know they are meant to use less water etc, but none that I have seen allow you to wash in cold water. This means the savings of water is offset by the electricity use required to heat the water!

- Supermarkets (in order of quality) - Marks & Spencer, Waitrose, Sainsbury's, Tesco, ASDA, Morrisons, Aldi, Somerfield, and other random ones such as Iceland and CostCutter. Mark is a food snob and only shops at Waitrose, but our bread (since most grain/brown bread sucks here) comes from Marks & Spencers.

- Organic everything...love it.

- Black cabs, love them too, except at 3am down Oxford Street on a Saturday night where they are no where to be seen for love nor money.

- Guest lists at clubs and pubs, it makes you feel that little bit special when you go out that you are on a list to get in

- The congestion zone, should be extended as people don't need to drive in London, really!. They think they do but really they don't. This message must be conveyed to the convoy of practically stationary cars that I pass every morning on my way to the station.

- Muppet; my new favourite word for stupid people.

Ok well that is enough for now I think, must go and do something useful like take a nap!!!

1 comment:

Heather said...

ohhh. I got one!

the fact that the the word 'pants' refers to undies over here. SO when you say things like 'Im going ot wear my black pants' or 'what kind of pants are you going ot wear; you are being far more intimate than you intend to be.

And rather amusingly they use the term 'pants' as an insult. eg. if you have a meal that you dont like 'that meal was pants'.

Which is quite amusing. Imagine saying 'that meal was undies!' BRILLIANT.