Well, it’s not Valentines Day in Australia right now, but to stay with my tradition on posting during momentous occasions, I thought I’d say Happy Valentines Australia! Who loves you? Tom loves you. All of you!
I have to admit, I’ve been here almost 2 months (about 6 days out), and lately I’ve really started to miss home. To be completely honest, I’m not enjoying this whole exchange thing as much as I thought I would. Most of the time I’m caught up doing Uni work just to make sure I pass, which I suppose is fair enough, but I’m more or less essentially living the same way I would as if I was at home. Possibly even worse when I think about it: I no longer find time for exercise because it isn’t as convenient and it’s cold here; I’m probably not eating enough red meat; I’m definitely not getting enough sleep as I haven’t adjusted to a decent routine yet.
Thankfully I only have University 3 days a week, but to be honest yet again, they are probably the least enjoyable days of my week, simply because I have to leave the comfort of my home. I’ll try to explain as best I can:
In general, I’ve found people in London to be quite cold, with very little regard for other people or the most basic of manners. Sure, this sounds like the beginning of a rant, and is certainly most probably a biased opinion, however, I share this opinion with other exchange students I’ve befriended. Many of us are surprised with how, for lack of a better word, rude, that people in London seem to be. At this juncture however, I would like to point out that the staff at the University of Westminster (the few I’ve had any meaningful interactions with) are very nice, and are probably some of the nicest people I’ve met in this country (with the exception of family and family friends).
Morning commuters have become my pet hate. The majority are rude, and are unwilling to make small sacrifices to ensure everyone is able to get to work in time, namely, the unwillingness to move down the aisles of the train to let people on. If you’re caught behind some of these people, prepare to wait an extra twenty minutes for a train, because someone was too up themselves to be polite. It’s happened to me on two occasions that I can recall, and it’s very hard to contain myself and not swear at the top of my lungs. Ironically, many of these people get off at St Pancras, which is like the London equivalent of Roma Street. Essentially, everyone is getting off at that station to venture onwards using the Tube System. And yet people still insist on protecting their little patch of standing space and not letting other people onto the train (through the doors) just so they can get out 5 seconds earlier than the herd. It’s ridiculous.
In the same vain of thought, I saw an elderly man the other day whom looked like he was about to fall over and have a heart attack. Every single person had walked past this poor person before I had gotten close enough to ask him if he’d needed help. In the populations defence, it was a narrow corridor, but very few people had shown any concern after my initial questioning of whether or not he needed any assistance. Again, this isn’t the first time something similar has happened. In my own, unprofessional and heavily biased opinion, London just seems like a city that just doesn’t care about people, or even human decency. The nicest people I’ve met in London are those like me, foreigners. Never before have I felt closer to minority groups than I have now.
I guess what I’m trying to say is: England, where’s the love? Seriously. At least on today of all days you could cheer up a bit and show compassion for your fellow human? No, well, shame on you.
Also, I’d like to state in advance I’m prepared to take any backlash whatsoever with this blogpost. I had an opinion based on own experiences, and I expressed it, I just hope my own personal experience gets better.
I really miss home, and sometimes question why I even bothered to come here. It’s an experience, sure, but so far, one that leaves me sour and questioning humanity. Perhaps it’s just a phase of cultural shock. Unfortunately, when I’m faced with things such as this, my personality is one that will “break before I bend”.
If there’s anything I will be thankful for coming over here for, it is meeting my English family whom are lovely, and also for more personal reasons which I care not to discuss. Anyone who knows me in a closer capacity will understand what I mean. There you go friends, you get a secret message. Kudos to you.
Miss you all, even those I haven’t met.
Stay class Australia,
p.s. I know I promised photos of University and friends here, etc, but I’m very busy at the moment. I apologise, and will somehow make this up to anyone who cares to read my sorry excuses for blog posts.
OH! and a HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ASHOKA, One of my closest friends. Turns 21 Today (Australian Time) Getting old champ!