We arrived at London City airport late at night. After going our separate way from Will we had about two hours of complications because of Underground closures! We eventually made it to our hostel just outside of Hyde Park, and Jay and I were so relieved to discover we were the only two guests in our nine-person hostel dorm.
After the classic toast + instant coffee hostel breakfast the next morning, we set off to find Kat, a good friend we met while living in Logrono last year. She was also teaching, but in her college year abroad. Her family lives just outside London, so she graciously agreed to meet us for the afternoon and show us around a bit!
It was really fun to have some of our old Logrono group back together again. We walked past a few of the big tourist sights, like the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace before deciding on lunch in China Town.
Kat goes to London often, so she already had a place in mind. Misato is a family-owned Japanese restaurant in the Soho neighborhood of London. We had to wait in the tiny door aisle for awhile before we could be seated, but that just further assured me that we were in for some good food.
We all ordered something different, and spent the next few hours catching up and laughing over memories from the past year. Our afternoon made me feel really fortunate to have the chance to make friends all around the world.
China Town itself is really interesting. London is by far the most international city I’ve been to, previously I think Barcelona held that title. There are numerous communities of different nationalities. The atmosphere makes America’s “argument” over introducing Spanish-language signs and prompts look completely ridiculous. Everywhere we found ourselves, be it a typical Underground ride or waiting for NYE fireworks in a crowd of people, I remember hearing just as many foreign languages as I did British English. I even asked a woman for directions once and she replied, “No English.” When will America ever catch on?
On that note– the funny differences between British and American English will never get old! “Mind your head!” I’m so glad to have those friends to joke around with.
Next up: impressions of Westminster, visiting London’s free museums, and New Year’s Eve.