After studying abroad in London and then returning to Boston University, certain lighthearted aspects and subjective comparisons stand out to me. For example, the gliding tube in London makes one shake one’s head at the MBTA system. Surely there are practical reasons for its shortcomings but more often than not passengers of the MBTA are sharply jerked and turned, causing some elderly ladies to take a spill.
Tea is more than beverage in London; it is a lifestyle. Tea breaks are fixed into daily cycles. In a workplace, an employee who is about to prepare a cup must offer to do the same for every other workmate or suffer the indignant glares.
The voiced self-service machines in London that are on the brink of being completely independent of a human employee can be disturbing when it announces, in a woman-of-age voice, that you’ve brought your own shopping bag, and an employee must electronically and virtually sign in your bag.
As for the music scene, London will outdo any major city, if not all, in variety and quality. From big name venues like the O2 to more intimate and obscure record stores in SoHo like Phonica Records, there are always performances by local and international artists.
Needless to say, the youth sub-cultures are eclectic and part of what makes London so “multi…-everything.” Skinheads, street goths, Air Jordan wearing hipsters, and more add to the club and warehouse parties. Warehouse parties offer multiple floors of various genres of music, so that in one room a DJ will be playing reggae all night while an oversized beach ball is going around and in the next a DJ is playing hip-hop while people jump into giant ball pits.
All in all, London is a world in itself.