I really can’t believe I have been in London for 3.5 weeks now! I have been very busy cramming my weekends with as many activities as I can and trying out all the delicious restaurants in London.
In terms of local culture, I have really enjoyed checking out so many different parts of London. It really blows my mind that every tube stop welcomes me with a completely new area with a different variation of restaurants and feel. Of course, every area has the classics like Costa Coffee, Caffe Nero, Pret a Manger and Starbucks. But each also offers something different. Like Camden, for example, has a much different feel than Shepherds Bush and Kensington. Camden Town gives off a “rocker” vibe filled with many pubs, bars, and of course the Camden Market which is so much fun. Sheperds Bush is packed with one textile shop after another. Kensington, on the other hand, is much more elegant. It boasts stunning buildings, elegant hotels, and upscale stores. It appears that there is a place in this giant city for everyone. As I have learned these past few weeks, there is no “typical” Londoner. When I ride the tube every day, I observe that every single passenger on the train seems to be very different and come from various cultures and backgrounds. Another thing I have observed while in London is that people really love their beer. The Pubs are always packed at night, filled with people socializing and enjoying their pints of beer. The bars are crowded with people waiting for a huge glass of beer–which they seem to take very seriously!
My internship has also been going very well. It is nice to have become accustomed to my tasks I am performing each day at the office. However, there have been many changes since I have been at the Marriott because many employees have transferred to other companies. This past week, there were 2 new starters in the Finance department, one of which I have been training to do parts of the Finance Assistant-Income Audit role. Since this new employee will be taking over many of my duties I have been performing for the past 3 weeks, I look forward to learning new things in different parts of the Finance department. As great as it is having a routine, I still want to learn new skills and gain more exposure to other positions in the office. Last week was also the general election and I was shocked by how little it was discussed. Hardly anyone at my internship talked about it which seemed very different that in the US. Our election last fall was a huge topic of discussion, especially on election day. But here, no one seemed to really talk about it or going to vote. I was very taken aback by this and it showed me how different politics are country to country.
Last week was a very busy week and I did many exciting things. On Wednesday afternoon, my friend and I had lunch in Covent Garden, a very fun area in central London. We wandered into a chocolate shop where a frantic woman asked us what we were doing that afternoon. She presented us with 2 free tickets to see the show Matilda at the theater next door 15 minutes later. It was absolutely insane, especially since seeing this show was on my list of things I wanted to do while in London! Several minutes later, we found ourselves at the show, which we really enjoyed, and definitely something I will never forget. On Saturday, I took a day trip to Dover Castle, the White Cliffs of Dover, and Canterbury. I was shocked by how beautiful each of these places was. It was so cool to explore Dover Castle and walk along the breathtaking White Cliffs. It blew my mind that the Castle was so old, nearly 1000 years. This made me think about how new the U.S. actually is. Finally, this morning, I went to the Churchill War Rooms for the second time. This is one of my favorite attractions in London because it is so informative and interesting to learn about Winston Churchill and how he was such a strong leader during WWII.
Clearly, I am learning so much while here in London and observing the local culture through England’s rich history, inside my workplace, and simply exploring the city. I really appreciate how accessible every diverse area is via the tube. I can hop on and be anywhere in the city in less than an hour, which I definitely have been taking advantage of!
Thanks for reading!!