Marginalia, Graduate Blog

Chicago to London

Ali Porter

Two weeks ago I travelled back to the UK for my friend’s wedding. It was my first time returning to the UK in fifteen months. Despite traveling in the most manically busy semester to date, it was a fantastic trip and allowed me to reflect on a few differences between the US and the UK.1. The roads in the UK are tiny and winding. Driving around, I had forgotten how close cars pass by each other on the narrow lanes. The UK is not a country of intersections and stop signs.

2. People do not heat their homes in quite the same way as they do in the US (i.e. they don’t really heat their homes). Wearing jumpers (British for sweaters) indoors is a must.

3. The music scene in the UK is waaaaay more condensed. Naturally, a country that has a fifth of the population of the USA is going to have a more closely knit music scene, but I had forgotten quite how vibrant it was. Don’t get me wrong, Chicago is still very good for music!

4. Seeing the fashion in the UK is like seeing Logan Square hipsters dressed as if they actually had any money.

5. London feels like its own 365-day-a-year music festival. Bands from all over the world converge at the hundreds of gig venues, and when the festival season hits the choice of bands is overwhelming.

6. The food really is not that bad in the UK. I had awesome sushi, great curry, and even decent fish and chips. Don’t get me started on my mum’s home cooking. EPIC!

7. Brtisih beer has no bubbles. Unless you drink lager, expect your British pint of ale/beer to be a little bit less cold and a little bit less fizzy.

8. The London Underground beats the L hands down. The Tube, as it is also known, has a distinct but very welcome lack of drug addicts and bodily fluids! The L does, however, have better views and is much, much cheaper.

9. Customer service is very different. In a land that does not expect a 20% tip or sometimes even a 10% tip, service is not a priority. That is not to say it is bad, but the US really knows how to make their customers happy.

10. I miss British TV. There are about 500% less commercials and when there are, they are at conveniently timed intervals, not every five minutes. Oh, and the BBC rocks!

Chicago to London

Two weeks ago I travelled back to the UK for my friend’s wedding. It was my first time returning to the UK in fifteen months. Despite traveling in the most manically busy …

Arts, Entertainment & Media Management MAM Ali Porter, alistair.porter@loop.colum.edu
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

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