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Katie: What London has taught me so far

May 23, 2011

Word of the Day: ‘Pram’ used in place of ‘Stroller’

Though London is very different than the United States I find myself forgetting that I am in a completely different country. I have had fun playing tourist these first few days [I should really start acting like a student/intern/londoner and not be so giddy about possibly seeing Kate Middleton and the Royal Family – though I am not going to hold back my excitement in seeing all of these major historic places and landmarks one bit. Nope, I am not ashamed to be a tourist!] and have gotten to see many parts of this great city. The first day here we ventured out and found Buckingham Palace. The Queen was in Ireland so we had the slightest hope to get to go in for a tour, but sadly that only happens during the months of August-October so we only got to see the outside of the Queen’s digs. We also made it out to Kensington Gardens to see the Palace and home of Diana, Prince William, and Prince Harry when they were growing up. We followed the path and found Princess Diana’s memorial fountain and the Peter Pan statue. 

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 [Buckingham Palace]

My favorite place so far has been the borough of Camden and Camden Market. It is an area north of Central London near Regents Park. I absolutely loved it: an everyday market of tons of vendors selling hand made and vintage clothing, jewelry, and odds n ends, so pretty much like a huge garage sale, and I love garage sales! I got a blanket that has a design printed from wood blocks and it is absolutely beautiful. I also enjoyed this trip to Camden because it was the first time that I wasn’t rushed and didn’t have a set time I needed to leave to get somewhere else. I was able to wander around the neighborhood and shops as slowly or as quickly as I wanted. I also loved walking the path along the canal that goes through Camden with boats passing by. It was a much needed break from the structured schedule I have experienced since arriving in London. 

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[in Kensington Gardens and a View of Camden]

I have learned such a hodge-podge of information but i love it! And I will now share some with you: 

  • On Sundays people can go to the lawn of Hamilton Palace and rant and rave about anything they choose as long as it does not include demonstrations or violence or insulting the Royal family in any way. They cannot stand on the ‘sod’ so they bring boxes to stand on, thus giving us the use of the soapbox. 
  • Out of more than 700 rooms in Buckingham Palace, the Queen only occupies 12 of them for her personal housing. 
  • Many people confuse the Tower Bridge [seen below] for the London Bridge. The Tower Bridge replaced the London Bridge when it fell down and was moved up the river. 
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  • The way we use ‘buck’ in place of ‘dollar’ Brits use ‘quid’ in place of ‘pound’
  • British currency includes: a penny coin, a two pence coin, a five pence coin, a ten pence coin, a twenty pence coin, a fifty pence coin, a pound coin, and a two pound coin. The bills begin with the five pound, ten pound, twenty pound and so on.
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[St Paul’s Cathedral]

I now have the longest address ever. I live on Castlebar Park Road, in the Borough of Ealing, in the City of London, In the Country of England, in Great Britain, in the United Kingdom, which makes up the British Isles, in Europe. 🙂

People in England are not ‘stand-offish’ most of them are just very shy. In fact, on the tube/underground, no one talks and it is easy to pick out the tourists because they are the only ones talking while on the train. 

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[I absolutely love the character of architecture the buildings have in London!]

Next Up: I have my interview for my internship tomorrow and class wednesday and thursday. Saturday I get to go to Stonehenge and Bath!

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