Welcome to the London Edition of She Listens, She Reads, She Speaks!
I’ve been having such a great time that I almost forgot to write, good thing weekly journals are required for the program. But, I’m just joking around, I’m so excited to share my journey, tips, and adventures with you all and I hope you enjoy reading!
Coming to London was such an experience. After a lengthy plane ride, my very first, we immediately bought a ticket and boarded a tube going from Heathrow to Central London. The very first impression I had of the city was the “countryside”, shrubbery, and pavement that were viewable from my tube seat. To be honest, it didn’t look much different from Ohio. The grass and flowers were the same blooms and style that I could find in my backyard; I took comfort in the fact that some things stay the same, even on a completely different side of the Atlantic.
Soon, the view from my window took a pleasant turn. The apartments and houses of London became more apparent. They are quiet tiny corners, some Tudors, some of various colours. What seemed like a replica of Ohio became something new and exciting. The cars came into view, driving on the wrong side, very fast, and small. The makes are all sleek and expensive; I never realized how heavily the locals relied on the tube and bus systems to travel. Those big red double deckers are actually used for travel and not for tourism! If only the Columbus bus system allowed twice the passengers, there would be a lot more sitting and less shuffling.
The tube was efficient. So efficient that I knew I was in Europe. There isn’t anything like the tube in the US. Sure, New York City has a subway system, but I’ve ridden that before and from the moment I stepped on I never wanted to set foot into a station again. The London Underground feels safe; sure there are security scares, but they don’t allow garbage cans, I haven’t smelled food or drink, and the people generally don’t mingle. Which, as an American, I like to talk to the stranger next to me if given the opportunity, but the Londoners like their peace and quiet, and I can honor that. The tube is really something else. And the DLR is something I could ride day in and day out. It travels mostly above ground and offers some relatively interesting views from outside of the window. Pulling up to Greenwich on the DLR was like a small tour of the city. Canary Wharf is the business district, and the farther you get out the more houses and flats you see. Take the DLR toward Bank and you get to see the gardens of London. Each apartment has a little green space, most bursting with blooms, herbs, and veggies. There is so much to see from your window, and the first day I got my first taste of the London from tube seat. Which was a good way to taste the city while suffering moderately from jet lag.