Outside the office, I’ve found the
Many of the differences are “procedural”, such as driving on the left side of the road. Since most of the world drives on the right, the Brits have generously painted “Look Left” and “Look Right” at intersections to help you check for oncoming traffic.
Then there are supermarkets. Most people in
One of the few differences is that supermarkets generally make you bag your own groceries. This should theoretically save labor costs, but really doesn’t since the cashier can check out your purchases twice as fast as you can bag them, so he or she just winds up sitting there watching you bag (though at some chains, cashiers will pitch in at the end voluntarily).
Beneath the city streets, of course, lies the London Underground, or “Tube”. During rush hour, the Tube is generally crowded but much less hot in summer than the
Many people bemoan the lack of a similar subway system in major
As you get off the Tube or the bus, you’ll often be intercepted by a somewhat seedy looking person. Fortunately, he or she usually won’t mug you and instead will aggressively offer you a free newspaper—either Metro, London Lite or the London Paper. These are newspapers that sustain on advertising revenue and are meant to be read very quickly while on the go. Feature stories may only be a couple hundred words, and most news items are just little blurbs or sidebars. This is almost like junk food for information since it doesn’t offer you the kind of depth you might get reading the Wall Street Journal or the Financial Times. However, the free papers are good for just keeping yourself occupied on the Tube, as an impromptu fan or rain hood, or catching up on pop culture that wouldn’t make it into more serious publications. They are a fairly recent development, and serve the demand created by what might be two major cultural trends in many parts of the world: people don’t want to pay for general news information, and people have short attention spans.
In later posts I will discuss places I have visited as well as elaborate more on my internship. Stay tuned.