First Thoughts…Posted: October 13, 2008
I’ve been living in the U.K. (Near Epsom to be exact)
for about 3 weeks now and am to start work next week on a project in Central London.
Many people have been asking me what I make of it as it has been over 13 years since I last lived here.pic courtesy Jim Linwood
So at the risk of being a bit ‘bloggy’, here are some random thoughts:
a. Two things that make you look like a stranger:
i. Looking up – most people surging around on the pavements are trying to get somewhere and either aren’t really bothered by what’s above eye level or think they know. Having spent a considerably amount of time shopping in Malls I was more aware of ‘above the shops’ with varied and interesting offices/buildings/rooftops above eye-level. No I don’t have a flickr set of these, but someone should…
ii. Waiting at crossings, traffic lights.
b. The suburbs are very quiet during the day in commuter belts. Not surprisingly everyone is at work. Also there are considerably fewer dogs (probably because of reduced space as much as security) than in Somerset West.
c. People are obsessed with protesting/crying children being dragged about by their parents – sadly because of high profile abduction/abuse cases. It’s interesting to see passers-by and a crowd react.
d. Burglar bars or drawn/net-curtains. The former are ubiquitous and necessary in RSA, the latter in the UK. People density and reduced space vs larger living areas. I’m not really sure what I think about this yet.
e. Listen to your own music on the train/bus/tube or listen to someone else’s phone conversation. I counted the number of people wearing earphones (yes including me) on a trip to Liverpool St. station and reached 157 in a 80 minute journey – almost 1 every 30 seconds!
f. Bacon, egg and sausage ciabatta – really!? Cuisine in London has moved on then.
g. For some reason there is a flock of green parrots in this suburb (presumably escaped)
h. The only people who walk a lot (instead of using a car or public transport) are the poor, the young and the mentally challenged. And me.
i. On that theme and totally unrelated – shake a lot of hands for a reason and you’re a great networker or a politician. Shake a lot of hands because it makes you happy and you’re a lunatic.