London is a very large, fast moving, incredibly ordered and very tollerant metropolis.
Hundreths of thousands people move in the underground every day. They move
in a fast and ordered fashion. The tube brings you to a far away side of
London in few minutes. You have to stand on the right of the moving stairs
to allow people that come faster to run on the left.
Informative messages are constantly repeated by an automated voice.
"Please mind the gap between the train and the platform",
"Please mind the closing doors",
"This is the piccadilly line train to Heathrow, the next station is...",
"We have good service on all the London underground lines."
The tube is a strange place: you sit or stand very close to a lot of people
every day, but everyone is on its own, everyone looks into nowhere. There
are almost no direct eye (or brain) contacts. If you look someone for
too long time you may often notice signs of sufference.
There are clear signs of fear about terroristic attacks. There
are almost no trash cans in the underground. This is to avoid
someone putting an unseen bomb in there. An automated voice
reminds every few minutes to keep any belongings with you
to avoid unnecessary alarms. At the King's Cross station we have seen an
emergency evacuation test. "Due to a reported emergency this station is
being evacuated. Please diligently move to the nearest exit".
London people are very formal. They say "please", "excuse me", "sorry",
"would you mind if I..." many times a day... more than us.
Altough after a while you notice that they are very cold. It's a sort
of formal tollerance, maybe developed because they are forced to live so close to each other.
The britannic female gene is very beatutiful. Pale skin, blue eyes and
naturally blond hair. In the tube you can fall in love several times a day :D
Beer is really good, tough the german one probably beats it. The bad thing
is that almost every pub closes very early. At midnight everything except
the expensive (and rare) clubs is already closed.
Before the departure I've thought that I know English. In London
I have found out that it isn't exactly true. They speak very fast
and with an unexpected accent (hm.. maybe it's better to call it "peculiar sound"):
initially it's very difficult to understand them. Talking and expressing yourself is even worse.
Things get better in short time tough. I have found out that English is less expressive
than other languages (Italian, for instance), they miss many specific words and need
to workaround this with longer sentences.
Finally.. London is a very nice experience: give it a try.
You might want to take a look at the random subset of photos I've put online.