Wilson: Becoming a ‘Londoner’

Wilson settles into her daily routine abroad in London, and learns to jay-walk with caution.

Christasia Wilson

Christasia WilsonThis week a professor announced, “After three weeks in London, you can officially call yourself a Londoner.” I have exactly two weeks until this statement will be a fact.

With one week down and 14 more to go, I find myself falling deeply in love with London. For the last 18 years of my life, New York has been my greatest love. In a sense, you could say that I’m cheating on New York for an older city. Even though only a week has passed, London is slowly and surely becoming home.

Being in love is never easy, especially when it’s with an unpredictable city like London. I have yet to go one day without almost getting hit by a car. Before coming abroad I considered myself quite the jay-walker, but people here either wait for the light or simply risk getting hit. In London, cars have the right of way and the pedestrian is simply an obstacle to the driver.

Along with facing daily near-death experiences, my stomach isn’t cooperating with London time. I’m hungry about six times a day. When it’s morning in the U.S., it’s the afternoon in London. This means that I’m not only craving breakfast, I also want a baguette. At 2 a.m. when I should be asleep, I’m starving because my stomach believes it’s 9 p.m. Hopefully my stomach will catch up to London time soon and start cooperating. Wanting to eat all day, every day generally translates to bread, bread and more bread.

Even with those bumps in our relationship, some great things have happened in London in the past week. As an aspiring Brit, I had to have fish and chips, and a restaurant near my apartment called Stockpot quickly became my go-to spot for the dish. At least twice a day, fish and chips are on my mind. I see why these Brits love them so much. In order to keep myself away from bankruptcy, I have been buying groceries from the local supermarket. Not as delightful as my new favorite indulgence, but it serves its purpose.

Another exciting moment this week was the first day of class. For a moment, I forgot I came to London to study. Usually, my nerves get the best of me on the first day, but I’m taking classes with people from Temple whom I’ve gotten to know these last few days. Do I enjoy three-hour classes two days a week? Not really, but luckily my professors have cute enough accents and sarcasm to get me through the day.

Honestly, who would not enjoy Travel Writing when it involves a cool professor, people watching and going to pubs? The key is to differentiate between a semester of school in London and studying occasionally while abroad.

The highlight of the week was when three of my friends found Freya, one of the cats that belong to the Chancellor of London. Leave it to three Temple students to find the Chief Mouser in the middle of the night. They had no clue the cat was the second famous feline in the country until they returned it to an armed guard at the Chancellor’s house.

Now if Prince Harry could just lose his way, I’d be more than happy to find him.

Christasia Wilson can be reached at christasia.wilson@temple.edu

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