08 February, 2012

How Are We Settling In?

Today marks the first day of the second quarter of the semester in London.  How does the time fly!  I'm getting the sense that everyone is settling into their classes, their work placements, their flats.  Students are finding budget airlines and hostels, learning to use the bus, finding places to go on the weekend in London.

With any luck you're also starting to feel like Londoners.  Has anyone stopped you on the street to ask you for directions?  Were you pleased with yourself when you knew which way to send them?  Did you fake an accent so they wouldn't know they were asking someone who has only lived here a month?

Here are some things going on around here that all good locals should know about:
  • The Six Nations is a rugby tournament between England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, France and Italy.  It's shown on tv in many pubs around town.  Even non-rugby fans come out for this one.  It started last weekend (4 Feb.) and will run until 17 March. 
  • The Queen's Diamond Jubilee is this year.  She found out 60 years ago (yesterday) that her father, the king, had died and that she was now queen.  The big party is the first weekend in June, so if anyone asks what you're doing for it, you can casually reply that you'll be out of town that weekend.  (It'll be similar to Elsie's Ruby Jubilee)
  • The 2012 Olympics are in London this summer.  Again, if anyone asks if you're going to any events, you can casually reply that you're getting out of town and renting out your flat.
  • The honours list went out earlier this year and now Helena Bonham-Carter can join Elton John and Mick Jagger leading the British army into war.  Well, it doesn't quite work like that, but you know what I mean.  Also, an honour that had been awarded a few years ago has recently been rescinded.  Ex-Sir Fred Goodwin, head of Royal Bank of Scotland leading up to the credit crunch has received a lot of flack for being a dilettante as the country sunk into financial disrepute and he retired, claiming a massive pension.  He's now on the same list as Robert Mugabe for having his honour taken away.
  • Karen Gillen has announced that she is leaving Doctor Who.  How will the Doctor find a replacement for Amy Pond?
 There are loads more ways to get into the local mindset and immerse yourself in the culture of living in London.  Even grocery shopping is a cultural experience.  You can wait until the end of the semester to do all the touristy things you were too settled-in to get to.


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