London is a bustling city, full of new places, food, and more people than you could imagine. As Arcadia students, we got to do a few orientation sessions at the Arcadia London center. There, we learned about how people love to queue (aka line up); and jumping the queue is a huge no-no. There are queues everywhere and it seems to just be a hobby for the people of London. They patiently wait in the queues until it’s their turn and the queues go really fast in London. I think this is mostly due to the fact that the cashiers don’t talk much. This was so strange coming from a place where I could spend 10 minutes just talking to the cashier as he or she rings up my items.
We also got to spend a day being very touristy. We took the tube to the Waterloo bridge where we walked around a little and got to see some amazing sights. We got to walk along the Queen’s walk where we saw some amazing street performers; they did everything from magic to blowing ginormous bubbles. The London eye is huge in real-life and Big Ben is actually really neat. As it turns out, the London bridge is actually just a normal-looking bridge, full of tourists and people on bikes. We also got to see Buckingham Palace, where we, unfortunately, did not get to meet the queen. It was interesting to learn that the people of London and the UK in general aren’t as obsessed with the royal family as we are in the states. Also, apparently the red telephone booths are only there for the tourists, but we took pictures with them anyway. It was a lot of fun to do all of the touristy things for a day and to get to know more about London and the sights there.
London is also the theatre capital of the world and we got to see Wicked at the Apollo Victoria theatre in London. It was amazing to see Wicked for the first time, especially in another country. Theatre culture is so big there and the actors were amazing. From the giant dragon on the ceiling to the props and costumes, this show was one of the best I’ve seen. It was also really neat to hear everything in British accents and they had slightly different humor. There were definitely some jokes that were meant for the British people to understand but went right over my head. The play was amazing and it was great to get to go with the whole Arcadia group.
Public transportation is huge in London. The double-decker busses are everywhere. It’s hard to walk around London without seeing a double-decker bus or a classic black taxi. We mainly used the tube, which was much easier than I thought it would be to navigate. But just as we started to figure out how the tube works, we had to leave for Lancaster.
London was amazing and I would love to go back some day but for now, it’s off to Lancaster!