‘Ello from London! I’ve been here for a little over two weeks, and while we share the same language, this city is so different from good old New York.
First of all, while English is the language of the UK, the British speak so much quicker than we do and have so many different phrases and euphemisms that are unfamiliar. For instance: “dodgy” is their word for sketchy, as in “that bloke seems a bit dodgy.” It is also almost impossible to understand the Brits when they make announcements over a loud speaker. The “tube,” or “underground,” as they call their subway system, often broadcasts important travel information via loudspeaker and so far for us LIM students, we’ve had no luck in comprehending any of them.
For instance, my roommate and I trekked to Ikea on our first night to get necessities for our flat (nothing was provided) and in the middle of our transfer a message was relayed. Totally confused, we continued to the other line’s track, only to realize the line had signal failure and was not running. That was the message over the loudspeaker. Luckily, our familiarity with the MTA and reading subway maps enabled us to find an alternae route without a problem!
Like New York, public transportation is the most common form of transit. The Underground has numerous lines that take you to various places throughout London. In New York we have the E train or the 6 train, in London there are lines: the Jubilee line, the District line, etc. and all the trains’ interiors correlate to the color of the line. For example, the District line is green and the chairs and poles within the trains are bright green!
To get from our flat building in Camberwell to the University of Westminster’s Harrow Campus we start at our home station of Oval on the Northern Line and transfer to the Metropolitan Line, the commute takes roughly an hour and a half one way.