Things are different here. That’s why we travel, isn’t it? To experience things outside of our regular daily lives. We have been in England just a few days. What have we found that’s different?
In the US, the 1st floor is the ground floor. Here, there is ground, sometimes even -1 ground, then the first floor is one level up from the ground floor entrance.
We were surprised to discover our hotel didn’t provide wash cloths. We had good towels, but no wash cloths. We are now in our second lodging and still, no wash cloths. So yesterday we stopped in Boots, a chemist shop (pharmacy) and found what we needed in the facial care aisle.
Our bed has a bottom sheet and a heavy duvet, but no top sheet. England is experiencing a record heat wave and the duvet is way too heavy. But there is no top sheet to use instead. As I said, it is a record heat wave. And many buildings don’t have air conditioning. The underground trains don’t have air conditioning. People everywhere keep saying, “It’s so hot!.”
London has a population of over 8 million and everywhere we went, there were people everywhere. Last summer we visited New York City and it was less crowded and less busy than here. And the great majority of people in London, especially near our hotel, were carrying or pulling luggage. Don’t know if it replaces a brief case or what. We had been worried about using the tube and trains to get around England. No problem—everyone does it. And everyone moves so fast! I’m old—75–and I don’t move that fast, I don’t figure out how to move about at that speed.
With all these people in a hurry to get somewhere, it is good that the city and the country have such excellent mass transportation. We rode a train from London to Birmingham and it was nearly full—and there are 48 trains a day between the 2 cities. The underground or tube takes people quickly all around London. These trains are packed.
Each electrical outlet has its own on/off switch. You plug something in, then turn on the switch, then you have power.
We all know exit signs. Here they say “way out.” People say cheers and lovely.
As far as I am concerned, breakfast can be bacon and eggs or cereal or toast—or all three. But cold cuts and cheese and lettuce and tomato—what kind of breakfast is that? Well, it is a continental breakfast. A full English breakfast is more like it—sausage, bacon, potatoes, eggs, grilled tomatoes. That’s good—and very fattening if we had it every day.
American society is becoming more diverse. But in our part of the US, Colorado and Arizona, when you say multi-cultural you probably refer to Black, White and Hispanic. Here in England include Muslims, Sikhs, Orthodox Jews, orientals and Africans.
And we have met so many really friendly, helpful people. Twice I have gone into a store to ask where to reach some destination. Both times the clerk walked out onto the sidewalk and took us in the direction we needed to go, pointing where we should head and giving the rest of the directions. Today we asked some sort of street monitor how to get somewhere and she walked us almost a block till we could see our destination. They all went out of their way to be helpful.
And Tuesday when we went through EU Boarder control, the man was very friendly and wished us a good visit.
I’m sure there will be more differences, and similarities during the next 7 weeks. We are excited to see what they are.