Cultural diversity – We arrive at the hotel, and the manager and main staff were Indians, but the room service staff were blond girls (not sure if british or eastern europeans). My mom, who doesn’t speak english, went to buy some food in a fast food restaurant. She tried to use body language with the staff, but the suddenly one of them realized she was brazilian, so as their cashier !! WTF !! She order everything in portuguese. Also, the staff were [what I believe] to be indonesian Muslims. The city itself is not so super populated of immigrants as I expected, but it is full of tourist (a lot of brazilians). I met a Lithuanian friend in the chinatown (more like asiantown) that said there is even a little Lithuanian neighborhood with a lot of marozai. There is little India and little everything in London.
Best coach(bus) system on Earth – We arrived in Stansted airport and took a bus to London. The price was cheap. Once in the bus, before departure, the driver started to give instruction, details of the journey, and strict safety measures (like in an airplane, wow!) and tell funny joked so everyone could start their journey in a good moood. This part astonished me, because not even in my 20 hours trip in Perú from Lima to Cuzco, we received so many instructions. At the end the driver asked for our feedback and he was super helpful with our luggage. WOOW !! The only way to beat this service would be that our seats give us free massages.
Bloody expensive transport price – We were running out of time and my mom and aunt wanted to visit Harrolds store. The fastest way was by metro/subway/underground. I had to pay almost 30 pounds (38 euros/46 dollars) for the whole trip. This is more than I pay for a whole month for transportation in Vilnius. My credit card started to bleed after the transaction. WOW! In Brasil I watched a TV show about the London Underground, and some trips are so expensive that the customer says the cashier “Seven pounds !!?? Bloody hell, fuck me sideways, what kind of bollock would pay for this shite?“…. But at least my mom and aunt LOVED Harrolds and now they love me forever for taking them in such a rush to this famous store. It was worth it.
Darkness – It was strange for me to see how extremely dark are the surrounding of the Buckingham Palace. Also many parts of the city are super dark. Strange for the city that has so much surveillance cameras.
Crossing the streets – If you don’t know, British drive vehicles the opposite way. You have no idea how difficult it is. I started to have headaches after three days. I was always giving hands with my mom before crossing the streets because I was so afraid of her being hit by a car. Yes, it is written on the road which way to look, but still. [And our next destination was Amsterdam, where we have to look for cars and bicycles. My mom freaked out]
Beautiful Classical architecture – In the outskirts of London, you can notice some very cozy classical houses with designs from centuries ago. In the city itself there are a lot of Georgian and Victorian era stylish buildings that take you back in time, even though if you are inside a Starbucks. Of course there are a lot of modern and contemporary buildings, but the classical ones are the best.
Food – Fish and chips and one million international cuisine restaurants. You can easily find even random things like Thai beer.
Royal Empire – My family was like children in Disneyland. My mom and my whole brazilian family used to be the number one fan of Princess Diana and LOVED the royalty of Europe. I was so happy to see her enjoying every single moment of the trip (She is also a fan of Mister Bean and everytime we saw his face in a picture we couldn’t stop laughing). We witnessed the change of royal guard at Buckingham Palace. It was disappointed to see that most of the people were taking pictures or recording the thing than actually living it. They also visited the churches in where Diana got married and other Diana places. My family also took some picture with royal guards, royal horses and other royal stuffs. I was more interested in the statues of Birtish Army soldiers, generals and prime ministers, but I didn’t have enough time to enjoy.
The “American dream” of Eastern Europeans – Before I arrive in Europe I had no idea London was the equivalent for the so called “American Dream”. The “dream” of many young Lithuanians is to emigrate to London. Many of them work during summer on any random job. Other decide to try their luck, by studying and working there. The emigration of lithuanians grew almost 65% when they enter European Union. It also happens with many other countries, specially with former UK colonies.