I’m always rotten at very first introductory paragraphs of anything. I always think, “Wow, this is pretty terrible. I just keep talking about really boring facts.” However, it’s probably a good idea to write something about myself first so you don’t just jump into this and have no idea who I am or why you should be reading this. Well my name is Cait Guerra. I am currently a senior at Dominican University where I am majoring in Political Science with a concentration in Political Philosophy. However, what’s different about this semester is instead of living in one of the residence halls, I’m actually studying abroad in London. Crazy, right? Did I blow your mind?
Trust me ladies and gents, it’s a big step for me and an amazing opportunity. I honestly never thought I would actually get a chance to spend three months living in a flat (apartment for all us Americans) with four others girls just exploring and learning all about British life.
Now we’ve only been here for about five days or so, so I honestly can’t tell you all about London, but I figured the best thing to do would be start with my first impressions. So first impressions, here we go.
Impression #1: Accents. I hate to say it folks, but when you’re in London you realize that it’s not everyone else who has an accent it’s you who has the accent. Walking down the street and hearing everyone talking the same way, you start thinking, “I wonder if they pick out my accent” or “Wow, I sound really different than they do.” It’s a bit startling a first and it almost makes you want to keep your voice down (at least I do) so you aren’t that loud American walking down the street.
Impression #2: Traffic. The traffic here is a bit different. Instead of cars all over, all the time like in Chicago they really seem to only be busy with traffic during rush hours. At least that’s why I’ve gathered. However, the bike and sidewalk traffic are ridiculous. Bikes, bikes everywhere! Everyone here seems to bike and there are bikes for rent all over the place. In the morning and evenings when people are heading to and from work it’s like Tour de France down the streets all the time. And if people aren’t biking then they really seem to like to walk. When you’re looking at a map everything seems much farther away than it actually is. Sometimes it’s even faster to walk some place than to drive or take public transportation. And that leads my to my last first impression…
Impression #3: Public Transportation. Now you might be thinking, “why didn’t you just group that in the second impression?” because, I didn’t want to. Easy as that. Besides their public transportation deserves it’s own section. It’s clean, it’s easy to use, it gets you everywhere and anywhere you can possibly think of in the city. Point blank if the Underground was a person I would marry them. I don’t want to hate on Chicago’s public transportation because it has been a reliable friend of mine for many a years. But if we could up our CTA standard’s to the ones of the Underground’s, my God I don’t think I would ever want to get in a car again. So that’s that. First impressions of this wonderful city and hopefully it’s a bit relatable to everyone in (my personal favorite city in the world) Chicago. So check back later for more stories and adventures in London.