With thousands of articles and blogs in the world about what to see and do in London, I have chosen instead to give my unexpected thoughts about city to give a unique and completely personal perspective on my experience. Hidden among your traditional red phone boxes, double deck buses and palaces is a quirky culture more different to Australia than I thought.
Agree with me or not, anyone can admit the Underground, what “Londoners” call their subway, is a surprising experience the first time around. And the second time. And maybe the third. My point is the tube is fast and takes corners at a speed which twists your stomach into knots and isn’t untied until you place your feet on the sturdy station platform. Are trains meant to feel like they’re bouncing? Does gravity exist inside the subway tunnels? Who knows, but the science defying subway is definitely an unexpected experience that I’ll oddly never forget.
Chips For Breakfast
A breakfast or ‘fry up’ in London, perhaps all of England, consists of 5 main ingredients. Toast, egg, bacon, baked beans and hashbrowns. But often the hashbrowns are substituted with chips. They’re technically exactly the same thing aren’t they?
When I sat down and ordered my first meal of the day at eight in the morning I was genuinely stunned to see I had chips, or fries as some call it, next to my toast and eggs. I honestly felt like a naughty child feeling guilty for eating chips at breakfast and thought, well, Mum and Dad are thousands of kilometres away and also I’m 22 years old. Remember to dip them in the egg like soldiers and live your best adult life.
Lemon, Lime and Bitters?
The bartenders blank look when my friend ordered a lemon, lime and bitters shook me to the core. I then went to order a vodka raspberry and received the same confused look. My friend and I enjoy each of these drinks and were rightly shocked to find that they had no idea what they were. We taught a girl at the bar how to make a lemon, lime and bitters with a shot of vodka and on her first attempt, it wasn’t terrible. Don’t expect to show up and have ‘the usual’. It doesn’t exist anymore.
We then vowed to venture outside our comfort zones so I ordered a vodka lemonade instead.
Pub Meals Are Hit And Miss
Some pubs are strictly drinking locations! Pubs in Australia are the classic places to drink with mates and have a decent feed. Pubs in London are similar minus the decent feed.
After craving a proper meal after 20 hours of flight food, the search was desperate. Our seemingly flawless knowledge of good food places didn’t help us in London. We ate at a good looking pub near our hostel and ordered what seemed to be microwaved lasagna and pie. Although this was not the case through the rest of Britain, just London.
You can’t fool Aussies with below average pub food.
Visit Jack the Ripper
It’s human nature to try and understand the minds of serial killers and joining a ‘Jack the Ripper’ tour was worth every cent. The tour delves into the violent Whitechapel murders at East end in grizzly detail. If you get lucky, you’ll get a passionate tour guide who puts his whole essence into his performance while having a lovely walk through the London outer suburbs. I definitely suggest giving yourself time to leave the bigger landmarks of the city and venture into the unknown where human nature is questioned.
I’m sure I had many, many more unexpected thoughts throughout my time in London but I hope these few can enhance your experience and make room for your own.