Sunday, January 13, 2008

1.13.08 - london update #1

Five things I have learned during my roughly 12 hours in the UK so far:

1. Yes, the British indeed use the words "fiver," "tenner," and "quid" to describe their money. I know that people in Nick Hornby books and British movies talk like this, but somehow it still amazes me to hear people use these terms in real life.

2. They get very irritated when groups of 40 American college students don't know the rules. (Standing on an escalator is apparently only permitted in a single-file line on the right so that people who are in a hurry can sprint past you on the left.) One gentleman yelled at us this morning as he was hurtling full-speed toward the mass on the escalator, "Stand on the RIGHT! WALK on the Left! That's how we do it in London."

3. Everything is small here. The houses, the rooms, the beds, the wardrobes, the grocery stores, the clothing stores, the restaurants, the restaurant tables, the people. (Refer to #5).

4. They have changed the five-pence coin sometime since 1970 and mine got rejected today while I was trying to buy two oranges at Tesco. The guy gave me a really funny look and said "Uh, this is a very old five-pence coin. We don't accept these anymore." Seems like a ripoff to me.

5. They dress immensely better here than anywhere I've ever been in the US. Granted, I've never been to New York, so it could just be a big-city thing, but I feel like everyone I pass on the street has just stepped out of a Vogue photoshoot. Whereas most of the people I see in my home country look like they just came from a photoshoot for the "Before" section of one of those L.A. Weight Loss ads.

More to come later. At the top is a picture I took of Buckingham Palace today (Notice the flag is flying, which means the Queen was inside!) Anyways, I haven't slept in 30 hours... so, I'm off to do that. Leave a comment! I miss everybody!


Caitlyn Noelle said...

Dearest Allison Lott, I miss you dearly! On Monday I thought of something I wanted to tell you but, when I called, I was hit with the harsh reality that you're in London. So automatically I was sad, as any person would be when they found out they lost their lissie :-( I am glad you're having fun in London though!!! Don't get your knickers in a bunch!!! Tehe. Later love!!!

Mallory said...

The escalator thing, that's all big cities. They'll beat you up in Atlanta for standing on the left.

And the nice dress, that's Europe. Its all I remember from my 1999 Roman excursion. Everyone looks nice all the time. That is something Europeans do right don't you think?

The coin thing's interesting. I wonder why they gave you an old coin at the exchange if they're not being used anymore. You should go make a scene. (How much exactly is five pence?)

I miss you and I hope you're having a ball! I hope you had a wonderful birthday too!

All my Love,

Andrew said...

Number 2, the escalator thing, is true everywhere I thought... living outside of Boston I learned that early on. I still do it and get annoyed when people here don't, haha :)

Glad to hear you got there safely! And 30 hours without sleep? Horrendous! Talk about jet lag. Keep updating though! That's a cool picture of the palace.

allison said...

mallory- five pence is about 10 cents. and i didn't get it at the exchange, i got it from my dad's "foreign money" stash, so who knows when he got it, haha... the coin is dated 1970 so it could have been from anytime. i just thought it was odd because in the US you can pretty much use any coins from whenever you want.

caitlyn - was it you that left me a voicemail? because i see it's there but i can't check it :(

Mallory said...

Ah, nothing quite like a jar of random coins dad's save. Good for you for using some.

And no, the voicemail is from Nathan and I. It's him telling you I suck. And that both of us wish you a happy birthday.

Chris said...

Finally found a use for my old coins, eh? We were just discussing the escalator thing in December when Mom and Emily were in Seoul in December. I can attest they do it in Korea and Japan, too. Have fun... -Dad