Touring Parliament

Today I toured the Palace of Westminster which is where Parliament meets.  The tour is normally only for a first-year course my professor teaches, but he had a few extra spots for the class I’m in. I’m glad I got the chance to go because my course really only focuses on political scandals. Continue reading


Brits say the darndest things

I promised to write more about culture and less about my travels. Probably one of the weirdest parts of living in another country is hearing some of the stereotypes/misconceptions about Americans and the U.S..  I’ve never really thought about how confusing our country might seem to someone in another country because it is so large and diverse. Continue reading

Feeling grateful

Today is Thanksgiving. It’s also my first Thanksgiving away from my family and away from the country that actually celebrates Thanksgiving.

But I am an American, so I still want to take this day to express my gratitude.

Today I’m grateful for…

  • the opportunity to live in a new country and experience a part of the world I might not have otherwise
  • the scholarships that helped get me here and the people who encouraged me to go
  • my education at UNC, which in itself has been my life’s greatest opportunity
  • the new friends here who I have enjoyed London with and taught me about their cultures
  • the old friends I’ve explored Europe with
  • and most importantly my family( and friends) at home who I look forward to seeing in a few weeks

Updates and 50ths

It’s been almost a week since I last posted anything. This stems primarily from the fact that I haven’t been doing much other than going to class and working on assignments.

I had an essay plan due and a feature article to write ( and conduct interviews for) this past week and have final exams and essays due in 3 weeks.

Fortunately after exams I have three days of free time to squeeze in all of the London things I haven’t done yet. Then I am going to be in Edinburgh for three days before flying home for Christmas. And thus will conclude my European adventure. Continue reading

LOTD: Customer service in the U.K.

So far, my customer service experiences in England have not been the best. Maybe it’s just because London is a major city, but the concept of customer service doesn’t seem to exist here. It hasn’t just been a one-time thing either.

I’ve had jobs that require me to put on my friendly “how can I help you?” face, and I know it’s not always easy. And everyone is allowed to have their bad days. But it’s  a part of  your job.

Most of the time I don’t really see U.S.-U.K. cultural differences as matter of being wrong or right, I just accept the differences.  But I don’t think I’ll ever get used to the (lack of) customer service here.

For a British perspective on this issue, and specifically restaurants, author Zadie Smith wrote a short piece for The New Yorker, titled “Take Out: Take it or Leave it.”