In which it’s impossible to move from one huge city to another and not compare every little thing about them.
Every time I meet someone new who isn’t from my school in NYC, I find myself unable to stop talking about New York and how it compares to London. I honestly want to kick myself every time my mouth runs off about subways, roads, pizza, people, shops, and on and on. While I have dreamed of living in London for as long as I remember, I keep criticizing it and saying, “Well in New York we do this, an oh in New York it’s like this…” And I am doing my darndest to stop!
I am enjoying London, and feel that because of my experience with NYC, it equipped me to adjust a little faster to the fast-paced environment, which London certainly has during the work week.
In so many ways, New York and London are the same: commuters and locals rush around in the day time, locals roam the streets at night, everything is expensive for no reason, little golden alleys with shops are waiting to be found. There is an undistinguishable feeling to both of these cities that I can’t explain, but can recognize when it’s there. On my first day in London I was so struck by the fact that it looked like downtown New York City I wondered if my jet-lagged eyes were just deceiving me. Luckily, culture shock didn’t come in the form of language or mannerisms, because Londoners and New Yorkers are quite similar, from what I’ve gathered so far. And that is extremely comforting after moving across the Atlantic away from my family and friends.
Then of course, there are major differences, beginning with the history. London is absolutely packed to the brim with history! New York City is too, sure, but I visited the Tower of London and couldn’t even fathom it’s age as my tour guide spoke about the bricks used to build it. London is Old World in a way New York will never be, and just looking around makes that clear.
I have to get used to pounds instead of dollars, the metric instead of imperial, and recognizing that ‘cheers’ is also ‘thanks’ (which is my personal favorite thing about England at the moment).
Maybe the constant comparison is an unwillingness to let go and fully experience a new place, maybe it’s just something to help me adjust, and maybe it’s my safety blanket when entering the unknown.