Nuggets of Wisdom from London Week One

As you may or may not know but will know now that you’re reading this, I am currently studying abroad in London for four months. I’ll be documenting my time here through this blog with weekly updates (erm, well don’t quote me on that), on my tumblr using the hashtag #DanyGoesAbroad and on my Instagram where I will be attempting to make my life here seem cultured and colorful (which it is so). I’ll also continue to use this WordPress like I was before so you might see bits and pieces of creative writing, articles, opinions and such mixed in with the abroad documentary.

Anyway, that being said and without further ado and et cetera et cetera, here is week one:

Things I learn from Sunday to Sunday:

  • It does snow in London. They lied.
  • The Tube is the most efficient metro system ever and I want to pick it up and put it in every city.
  • Including LA.
  • Especially LA.
  • You don’t have to tip the cab drivers.
  • But if you do, they give you a big smile and say “Cheers mate!”
  • Big Ben is bigger than he looks.
  • Don’t eat the oysters.
  • Tom Haverford would call Buckingham Palace #bpalace
  • In our first orientation presentation, the professor got down on his knees in the middle of the stage, clasped his hands together and said, “Please. Whatever you do, make sure you come back a different person than you are now.” I can’t get his words out of my mind.
  • You may think you’ll have no trouble understanding British accents because of your extensive viewing of British television but real life doesn’t have subtitles so that’s that.
  • Don’t try to figure out the Night Bus at 2 in the morning with a broken heel.
  • The first meal you cook by yourself will taste terrible but it will be the best meal you’ve ever had.
  • Say yes to everything.
  • Well not everything.
  • Don’t be afraid to say fuck off.
  • Or if you want to blend in, piss off.
  • Always bring an umbrella to a party Rose.
  • ^People here actually understand that reference.
  • You will get into a friendly argument with your tour guide about Arsenal versus Chelsea.
  • You will then find out that Chelsea beat Arsenal 2-1 and will bow your head in shame for the rest of the tour.
  • It’s not that hard to keep in touch.
  • This may not come as a surprise, but four hour classes are a form of torture at 9 in the morning.
  • Because let’s be real, no one goes to sleep early in London.
  • You don’t become a creative writer by staying in a classroom taking a class on creative writing. You become a creative writer, like Shakespeare like Hemingway, by getting out and seeing the world.
  • BU COM prepares you for the real world more than you know and I’m even more thankful of the incredible opportunity I have to study at this university.
  • British students complain about their loans more than anything but shut up immediately when they learn the insane amounts we have to pay.
  • You can do groceries in 10 minutes while the store is closing.
  • There is no shame in taking a cab two blocks with all the bags.
  • Especially if it’s 18 degrees and snowing ice cubes.
  • You need to set up a VPN to watch Netflix and Hulu. I never thought I’d say this but thank God for BU’s VPN.
  • Currency sucks and there are too many coins and none of them look the same and I want to toss all of them in the fountain.
  • Also you may think you have no money but you probably have like 18 pounds of change in your pocket.
  • I really can’t handle the coins.
  • Breathing is expensive.
  • I know more than most Americans about British history but I still want to check out every book in the library and soak more of it in.
  • I need to go back to Portobello Street Markets on a sunny day and get souvenirs for everyone who’s ever meant something to me.
  • Since you’re going to be noticed, make sure you’re worth noticing.

Today I went on a panoramic bus tour and took a trip to the Tower of London. It snowed for 15 hours and I still can’t feel my toes. It was fantastic. When it gets warmer, I’m going to take the same route and spend more time walking around, taking better pictures without damaging my camera, and learning about the history. I lost my camera lens cap at the Tower of London. It was the second casualty of the day, after my coat button (which I caught! Now I just have to learn how to sew…) and behind my ticket for the Tower that I wanted to keep as a souvenir. This Friday, I’m going on the Harry Potter Studio Tour and planning a few weekend trips (among them, Paris with my roommates and Ireland for St. Patrick’s Day!) Tomorrow is the first day of class for the Elective A which for me is British Television Studies so you can imagine how excited I am. It still hasn’t hit me that I’m actually living in London. It’s not like LA where everything reminded me of something, either Florida or Boston. London is like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. I hope I do this right.

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