Do you like what I did there? Yea, I'm embarrassed for myself too, but these things happen.
So here's the point of this post - to jot down general observations about life here in London. DISCLAIMER: these are not facts, just musings of a random American wandering the streets. I thought every once in a while I would take notes about what I'm noticing, because I'm sure my observations will change as time progresses. And because I'm dying to tell you this one weird thing.
I should mention my first week in London feels a bit skewed because we are staying in a flat in Greenwich right across the street from the Royal Naval College (aka The University of Greenwich) and it's a very touristy area during the summer months, so take that into consideration.
- I haven't seen any great hair yet. Some random colors, but nothing WOW.
- waistlines are set to mom level. High, high, high.
- they have LOOK LEFT or LOOK RIGHT painted on crosswalks for all of us dummies that have to look both ways 4 times before we're sure we can cross the road.
- lanes do not seem important to drivers. Just make your own, really fast, into oncoming traffic.
- there is virtually no parking and it's always taken and cars never leave their spots, which makes me wonder what the point is having a car in the first place.
- there is not a consistent mechanism for opening/closing doors. Knobs, levers, latches, push bars, door knobs are all used - and they're all in different locations on the door. There's not a similar door opener on our row of houses, nor are any of the doors in our flat the same. #howdoigetout
- the prolific use of the word "sorry" in all kinds of situations, and a lot of words in general to convey quite short ideas.
- dads with strollers are everywhere. I think I see more dads than moms.
- shops close early. You're lucky if there's anything open besides a pub after 8pm.
- nobody wears helmets. My kids riding around with helmets is like marching along with an American flag.
- Food notes: Haven't seen a decent donut yet. But i am happy to report several bakeries nearby and one just around the corner that sells really good brownies and flapjacks. Also, around the other corner I get my Fish & Chips fix which is a dangerous little habit. I have to say the food scene is quite robust, which shouldn't be a surprise in such a big city, but you know the English have a bad rap. IE - I really don't think I'm going to try the traditional mash with eels in the pub down the street.
- there is nothing more interesting to me than hearing our neighbor give her young children a proper scolding, so I've been eavesdropping like crazy. I feel like I should write a book about the misadventures of George and Charlotte (though they call her Lottie when she's not in trouble). Seriously, perfect British names, right? I think I need an English nanny, because there is nothing like that biting tongue delivery to really put a kid in their place. I want to salute Mum when I see her, though that's quite another topic - don't talk to your neighbors seems the standard.
I saved the weird thing for last:
- no one ever says, "bless you." I have never noticed what a reflex it is to say that when anyone within earshot sneezes. I noticed the silence, not the absence of words. You're just gonna have to bless yourself, because .........