The sun is shining in London, and the weather is now as I remember it when I came here in September. It’s surreal to think that I have just finished a complete school year in the UK. When I prepared myself for coming to London back in September, I was most excited for doing the typical touristy things in London–riding the London Eye, visiting the British Museum, etc. Although seeing these attractions was a priority for me while in London, I will also miss a lot of the more commonplace aspects of living in London.
For example, riding the tube.
In America–or specifically where I live in Los Angeles–public transportation isn’t a very popular means for commuting, but in London, taking the Underground was a typical part of my week. Although taking the tube seems like such a mundane thing, there is a sort of excitement about it for a foreigner like myself. For one, on the tube, you are surrounded by people of so many different backgrounds. While I read my course readings on the tube, I can hear accents and different languages around me, and I can quietly notice people carrying briefcases in front of me. It’s such an interesting experience to sit in silence with so many different people from all sorts of backgrounds as we all look down on our newspapers, phones, and books, minding our own business as we commute together.
Additionally, I’ll miss sitting in cafes to do coursework. There are just so many cafes in London, and it was such a regular part of my schedule to sit down and work on readings and coursework in cafes.
I’ll even miss things like grocery shopping in London because it is such a different experience than grocery shopping in America. The types of food that the grocery stores in the UK sell are a lot different than the types of food they sell in America, and it’s sometimes just nice to look around and see all the different UK food brands.
I guess even though I came to London not thinking much about the “little things”–such as riding the tube, buying groceries, doing coursework in cafes, etc.–it is essentially the mundane, everyday experiences that made up a large part of my time abroad, and so it is these things that I will miss a lot when I adjust back to living in America.