Originally posted on Blogger on 24 February 2015
This is the second of four journal entries required by Susquehanna University because I went to an English-speaking country where the cultural differences are smaller than a country such as Italy or Spain
It seems like the UK culture is more laid back. People are in a rush to get places at specific times of the day, but in general I feel there’s less complaining about being late than in the States. I don’t think the level of people getting annoyed is different. I think that’s different is that people are less vocal about it in the UK, and don’t do it out in public. There’s no controlling small children or babies from screaming, so that level is about the same. One of the specific differences I’ve noticed is the arts. The general public is much more aware of what’s going on in different galleries and theatres than the average American. Since the theatre is more affordable, they frequent it more than the average American as well.
I haven’t had that many struggles. Initially, I was a little scared about the Tube system because I come from southwestern Massachusetts where the only public transport is a bus system that I’m unsure of the reliability of and most families have at least one car and usually at least two. As a result, I’m not that experienced in the nature of public transport systems. Now though, I’m completely fine with it. I did have a minor panic when I got lost the first weekend, and on Sunday (22 February), I had another one when I went to Oxford and managed to drop and scratch my camera lens in rain resulting in a long Skype conversation with my mother and me buying a new camera. (Addendum 9 April 2017: Which I then dropped about a month later when I slipped on the Eiffel Tower.)
Communication with the States:
I don’t think keeping in touch with my friends and family back in the States has hindered me. Mostly what I’m talking to them about is what I’ve been doing here since I talked to them last. I think it may have even helped, because within talking to them, I’ve talked about what I felt visiting certain places and how I felt being in a certain place at a certain time. It’s actually been pretty cool looking back on everything and telling people about it, because when I’m in the moment, I’m worried about soaking in what I’m seeing and not necessarily on what I’m going to remember about the day. I think talking about it with friends and family has made the experiences stick in my head so I’ll remember them.