People vs. People

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Streets of London

My first impression of London when I first got there was how big the city was. I was previously aware of how big the city was when some people around me compared it with the states New York and Chicago, but being there was very different than just hearing about it. Upon arrival, I was interested in being in London, to learn about the culture there, the history, the people and how a different country operates and goes about on their day-to-day.

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London strip near the Marble Arch, the city is filled with people walking.

When I first got there, I was surprised by how many people filled the streets. Like previously stated, once compared to New York, I had an idea but in London the people walking on the street had one motive and that was to get where they were going. I noticed quickly that whoever was in the people traffic, they moved you out the way to keep their route steady. I visited the state of Chicago a lot and I always notice that people there are in a rush as well, but not like the people of London. The people of London are not as friendly compared to humans in the States. I personally feel because the Queen of England is there that the people of the United Kingdom feel more entitled than most. My personal opinion, however, to me they do mind the space of other humans. I think being a tourist out there, I had to teach myself to get tough skin when it came to things like walking on the street, someone running into me and not apologizing or recognizing it, the rush of everything around me and just a fast paced environment overall.

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Streets in London are more narrow than the streets in the States. Most transportation is through the tube train, bus, taxi or walking. Many people walk, with majority of their cars being natural colored and not luxury.

When I am traveling to Chicago, walking the streets I can count of interacting with the people on the street, engaging in small talk or a simple greet from one another, but here in London do not expect that at all. I got a chance to visit a comedy show while being in London and the London comedian made a joke on how when he visited the States and went to Los Angles, California his first impression was that the people were overly friendly. From there, I knew that our cultures were two different things. London people were adjusted to being one way: not friendly, just in a rush while the people of States are more used to greeting each other on the streets, being polite and though we are still in a rush somedays we do not act as if we are better than the other people walking along with us. I am going to go out on a limb and say that the people of London are fed up with tourist and because they are known for being a huge tourist city, they move accordingly not allowing anyone or anything to slow them up or hinder there real reality.

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Telephone booths are no longer used in the USA but here in London, it was a big deal and means of communication for people. Booths are a popular site but with the technology constantly growing, you can only possibly find about one telephone booth that still has a working phone and a connection.
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Me posing in the infamous photo booth

I cannot say that all countries with popular tourist cities are like this though. On my vacation to Paris, France, another popular tourist city the people there were more friendly acting than London. The environment seemed more welcoming than and comfortable. The Parisian people always greeted me with a smile and were more accommodating even though there could have been a language barrier in between our communication. In London, I was just more used to the people back home, so of course it was culture shock for me. What’s shocking is that I have heard other people say and feel the same way about London but I waited to make my own opinion.

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Streets on London, showcasing people walking, taxis and cars parked along the side and the United Kingdom flag lined across the street.

After being there for so long, I saw myself getting use to things and falling into place. There you have to be ready to move fast, squeeze in to the front to make sure you get on the tube in time, work your way around traffic and keep up with the pace! Along with the people being fast paced, the traffic and driving of London was something else I had to get use to. In the States, pedestrians have the right away when it comes to traffic, in London the car has the right away. This new law almost caused me many accidents. The cars are moving just as fast as the people, I saw many times from taking the bus when accidents could have occurred due to people just walking out and the car having the right away not stopping, taking whole advantage of the law.

Overall, I loved London I was just use to some things being a certain way traveling from the States. Entering a new world comes with a lot of new things, you learn more, see more and experience things more differently than expected. You can never really plan for traveling to another country and their culture. To me, it’s best to just put on your tough skin and roll with the punches that one has to take in order to get accustomed to another culture. The city of London is big, fast-paced and a feeling of entitlement lingering around. The states you will get greeted with a smile regardless of anything else.  In all, I will return to London but next time I will know all the ways around it.

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