Not much exploring will take place for a little while... next week, I've got a midterm, essay, or presentation for every class, and there's a good chance I'll be getting surgery on Monday as well. But for now, here are some pictures from week #5:
|The sun actually came out twice this week!|
|Some surprise Valentine's chocolates|
|"Nuclear Dawn," a fantastic & famous piece of street art in Brixton|
|One of many street markets in Brixton|
- London culture and English/British culture are not synonymous. To think London represents England is similar to thinking New York City representative of American culture on the whole.
- When it rains, it pours, but when it doesn't, it sure is gorgeous! The temperature has yet to drop below 40, and it's usually somewhere between 45 and 55. This winter, however, were experienced record-breaking amounts of rain (of course), although it's been sweater-weather and sunny for the last few days!
- Everything is far more expensive here, even from the perspective of people who've lived in New York for at least a few years!. Of course, the major advantage of this is that doctors visits, surgery, and all other health care is absolutely free, the mentally ill are actually cared for and nearly nobody is homeless, museums and other such public places are free, and the maximum legal price for a prescription is 7 quid.
- On that note, "quid" is slang for pounds (similar to the word "bucks").
- Scotland is voting to leave the union and become independent later this year, although the initiative is widely expected to fail for a number of reasons (the most amusing of which is that the Scottish dearly love the Queen).
- The Brits love to have a laugh. And there is nobody easier and more fun to take the mickey out of than Boris Johnson, mayor of London. In fact, there are multiple sites devoted to daily Boris humor (such as this one).
- The London Underground (or the Tube) is often VERY underground. The station behind my flat is actually fifteen stories below! Everyone uses the lift to get to and from street level; the stairs are actually listed as emergency use only!
- There is London, and then there is the City of London. (Find a great explanation of this here). Comparable to Manhattan's financial district, the City of London is a mere square mile where many of the largest financial and political institutions of the world are centered, and the city's limits are marked by an ancient Roman wall, pieces of which still exist today. The city expanded after one of the many great fires decimated all within the city walls (unfortunately the existing architecture relied entirely on wood, wood, and wood as building material) and the wealthy were forced to spill into neighboring suburban areas. The City of London even has it's own mayor, laws, and police force, all of which are independent of their greater London counterparts. The City of London Police even has it's own cavalry, a few members of which I met a couple weeks ago during an Architecture tour!
Hope everyone has a wonderful week.