Monday, 4 June 2012

American Q&A About Visiting London

London

The London Eye from Victoria Embankment

Going along with the Queen's Jubilee theme that's even hitting me here in Michigan I thought I'd share something I received in the post. Joe's gran who lives in Florida, sends me newspaper clippings from her local paper about all things British - this time featuring the Queen. Amongst columns about the Queen's lifetime, where in Tampa Bay you can grab yourself a good cup of tea was a Q&A about "Visiting London". Here's how one Florida journalist writes about London - my responses will be in brackets [all images are my own].

What is the most important thing to remember in London?
[So you think he might mention seeing all the glorious historical landmarks, to look after your personal belongings on the Tube or about buying a map, but no no] "Look right. The British drive of the left hand side of the street, which means traffic is coming at you on the right. There are LOOK right signs everywhere [really? I can't ever remember seeing them?!], but it's easy to forget" [seriously over six months in America and I forget traffic comes from the left].

What is one thing Americans do better than the British?
[Are we seriously going down this route?!] "Serve salads. A simple tossed salad is hard to find". [WTF?!]. 

London

What is one thing the British do better than Americans?
"It's been said that Britain is a "nation of shopkeepers". Londoners do seem to have a sense of retail courtesy not always found here in the US." [Nah you'll find rude people in England too! I really would have thought us British did public transport much better].

What is surprisingly cheap in London and what is surprisingly expensive?
[Firstly too many surprisingly in one sentence!] "Public transportation - the Tube (sub-way) and buses - is a bargain. Dining out is expensive, but if you're willing to "cook" ... there are markets where you can buy much less expensive sandwich fillings, fruits and snacks". [Just get yourself to Marks and Sparks!].
 
What is an absolute must-do in London?
"After all the shopping and sightseeing treat yourself to afternoon high tea, which is served with sandwiches that have their crusts cut off [oh la la], pastries and warm scones with clotted (Devonshire) cream. If there on a Sunday, go to Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens ... it's a great stroll (if it's not raining, of course)". [Oh you had to get a dig at British weather in!].

Speaking of the weather ...
"It rains. Lots. But that gives you a chance to watch British TV. The BBC channels are commercial-free and you'll hear lots of different British accents" [oh goodie - we're known for our accents not how good the acting is or what the shows are about].

London

How do you find these assumptions and perceptions of London and Britain? Did the journalist get it right? How do you see the UK/London?

Article and quotes taken from Fred W. Wright's Visiting London; Q&A which featured in the Tampa Bay Times; Life Times April 25th 2012.

32 comments:

  1. Public transportation a bargain?! Did this person even visit England?
    It is £2.50 to travel two miles into town on the bus from my house. That is £5 there and back. Hmm, yes, clearly a bargain when there are like 2 decent shops...
    And what the hell is a tossed salad?
    Oh my!

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    1. I think just any salad is tossed? Salads are like a freebie when eating out over here.

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  2. I can't help but feel slightly insulted - London is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, the sheer history - the breathtaking architecture, the culture alone (!!!!) SO many stunning galleries and museums, amazing choice of entertainment from horrendous pubs with amazing live bands to West End shows. Honestly - it seems as though this particular journalist didn't do much in the way of actually exploring anything while he was there!

    Jem xXx

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    1. True true - I thought they'd make the most of showcasing what's good to see, do, stay about London or even branch it out a little into the UK. You can see why some people end up with certain assumptions about countries when the media is rather misleading.

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  3. I agree with the first comment about public transport. Definitely not cheap! It costs me £5 on the train for a return which takes 9 minutes.

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    1. My weekly bus ticket use to cost me 39 pounds [darn American keyboards not having the pound sign] - in East Yorkshire I'll add. Although in Edinburgh I thought the public transport was extremely cheap. So I guess it's here and there.

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  4. So tossed salads are really important then?

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    1. Apparently more then we ever give credit!

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  5. I love how you added your thoughts on the Q and A.

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    1. Thank you - I thought that would just offer an English perspective on it!

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  6. I don't even know what a tossed salad is!
    I love reading these sorts of posts- I love to see the contrasts of cultures!

    Love, Elizabeth xX

    http://butterflyboo.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Thank you - I love writing about them, gives me a giggle when you sit down and actually think about the differences.

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  7. This just makes me want to go to London badly!

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    1. Its such a great place to visit!

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  8. I do love to watch the BBC! I've recently fallen in love with Doctor Who! It's soooo good!

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  9. Hi Sweet Rachael,
    10PM Monday.

    I'm so tired and sleepy so if I get off 'track' into ever never land.
    Please forgive me.HUG!

    First I love this very interesting post. All I can tell you about the UK is what little I see on the news. From the news I was sure all the people were going insane over there. All kinds of strange laws being passed and etc. But after meeting all you wonderful young ladies on the blogs I am very impressed and I think the UK will be ok.
    HIGH TEA:
    We vacation it Wengen,Switzerland and we love the Tea served in the Tea houses there. The British were the first to popularize the resort, after World War I. Many still Vacation there and ski and have Tea. It is said the Tea served in the Tea houses is like the 'well to do' drink in the UK.
    We love that Tea but are unable to find or fix it. Can you help us?

    Hubby relieved me on the Combine to shower and eat. So I back to the harvest. We will keep going until around 5am Tuesday morning. Then we will stop do the chores and have a good breakfast sleep 4 hours and back to the harvest. We are about 8 hours ahead of schedule as of now.
    Love You, Joann xxxx

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    1. Well to do tea might be something like Earl Grey or Lady Grey tea they tend to be more afternoon somewhat "posh" teas which you might be able to get online?

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  10. It sounds as though the journalist has never visited London and cobbled this piece together in about 4 minutes. Fail!

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  11. Public transport is a bargain? When I was in London I felt like I was being violated every time I used the bus!
    The British Museum is a must visit place and this guy chose the Sherlock Holmes Museum? Rubbish!

    Gems x

    Don't forget to enter my First Ever Giveaway - Fashion, Well Done

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    1. No I choose the photograph of the Sherlock Holmes museum just as a photograph of things to do in London. The journalist made no reference to that.

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  12. Oh my goodness that article sounds absolutely ridiculous and the writer should just be embarrassed.

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  13. I didn't really find the article that informative. I would love to visit London. Maybe one day in the future this dream will become a reality. I would love any information you have to share.

    Sunny Days and Starry Nights

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    1. London really is and I'm glad I got to visit a fair few times over the years for different reasons. There's so much to see and do - I just wish the journalist had taken the time to note down some of them!

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  14. I enjoyed reading this, I've always wanted to see how we are depicted in US guidebooks! Haha xx

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    1. It is funny when you get to read them!

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  15. How dreadful! Sounds like the writer never left the States. She should hang her head in shame (and read The Rough Guide or Lonely Planet) x

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    1. Speaking to some people here loads haven't even left the state yet alone the country and people look at me in amazement that i'm foreign so I could well believe the journalist may not have properly visited the UK!!

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  16. This is such a great post! I always love to read what other people think. Over the Jubilee weekend and the wedding last year I googled US news articles to see what they were saying about everything, it makes facinating reading hehe. x

    alittleonesadventures.blogpost.com

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  17. I love this post!! A dream of mine would be to go to London one day.

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