LSE & Living in London

brit car
So I’m here. In London. It’s hard to believe, but I’ve been here for two and a half weeks already, and–thanks to Thursdays and Fridays off–have just finished my second week of classes! Whenever people ask me how I feel about London, all I can say is, “It’s cold. And overwhelming.”

In less than 3 weeks, I’ve changed continents, enrolled at LSE, gotten sick with a sore throat, opened a new bank account, gotten lost for two and a half hours in central London trying to find my way back home, made new friends, attended career fairs, had welcome drinks with the school director, discovered the location of Bridget Jones’s flat in the movie, tried fish and chips, had more welcome drinks with my school advisors, gotten a new phone number, given my first 3-minute oral presentation of the year, and bought a pillow. It’s a lot.

I’m still getting my head wrapped around where things are on the London School of Economics (LSE) campus:

The campus is pretty tiny, but I still get disorientated at times. I feel like such a freshman!

I live about 40 minutes away from school, and I usually walk when it’s not raining. I take the bus sometimes too, but with London traffic, the bus isn’t all that much quicker than walking– it’s only about 10 minutes faster. Did you know that there’s a traffic tax for cars entering London from other cities? It’s £10! Crazy, right?

I live pretty close to the Borough market, an open-air weekend food bazaar.
The Borough market was featured in the movie Bridget Jones too! (Can you tell it’s one of my favorite movies…) The prices aren’t too bad either, I got kale and asparagus there last weekend.

There are quirky little things that I’m still getting used to. Take my dorm for example. It’s so tiny! It can’t be more than 10 meters squared (107 ft2). But it’s pleasant, or as the Brits say, “bijou.”

One thing that I don’t understand is the bathroom sink.
How am I supposed to use this? Whenever I have to wash my hands, I try to speedwash them under the hot tap, before the water gets too scalding. But there are inevitably still suds on my hands before I’m done, so then I have to switch to the freezing cold tap. Whenever I wash my face or brush my teeth, I have to choose between a piping hot river or a glacial stream.

Do the British not like warm water? It’s the same thing in public bathrooms:

See that little yellow warning saying “Caution: hot water”? They mean it! That tap gushes searing-hot water. This was in the library bathroom, where I nearly burnt my fingers off. I don’t understand how people can use water this hot.

Another thing: Pandora doesn’t work in the UK! I was so bummed when I found that out. There is now a void in my heart where Pandora used to be.

And some of my favorite YouTube clips aren’t available here. 
Copyright laws can be such a killjoy. Thankfully I found this song on another YT channel, though!

Something else that’s completely new? Let’s see if you can find out…Take a look at these two pictures. Can tell what’s different between them?

Give up? Check out the outlets!
In Britain, you can turn an outlet on and off. Cool, huh? In the kitchen that I share with my flatmates, you can even turn the outlet for the oven on and off. It’s a really big, bright red switch. Strange, right? But I’m guessing it saves on electricity! The Brits are also pretty intense when it comes to recycling. Sometimes it takes me a while to figure out which bin to put my rubbish in.


Want more on London living? Look out for my next blog on Sunday! 🙂


About Jul

Life is better than perfect, it's beautiful

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