This past Sunday I went on a bus tour with Golden Globe Tours that took us to Stonehenge, Bath and Windsor Castle. While travelling to these places we had a tour guide that was telling us little fun facts along the way. He mentioned at one point why Great Britain and France drive on different sides of the roads.
The reason Great Britain does is because it was set back whenever people were still riding horses on the streets and fighting with swords. Basically, if you are riding your horse and are right-handed, you are to “drive” on the left side of the road so you can fight with your right hand. When he told us that it made so much sense. I never even imagined that this was the reason for the English to drive on that side of the road.
He went on to tell us why France drives on the right side of the road, like the U.S. This is because the king at the time was left-handed. Therefore, France drives on the right side of the road.
I ventured to the Wimbledon tennis arena today and noticed something that confused me; the street markings are quite odd. They are nothing like in the United States.
Here is an example:
The double yellow stripes on the side of the road do not make sense to me. How do drivers know when a street is one-way or two-way? All the streets are marked with dashed white lines in the middle of the road on two, three and four lane roads. I have yet to see signs on the road stating which is which. The only signs I’ve seen are one-way signs.
I will probably never be able to drive the streets of London because of their confusing nature.
I am finishing up my first week in Britain, and I can say that I’ve experienced and learned a vast amount. In class last week, we had the opportunity to listen to two speakers who specialize in the fields where most of the students in class will go on to work in.
Steven Verna was our first speaker. He spoke about Lime Communications, what he does there and his past experiences in the newspaper industry. I found his presentation rather intriguing. He told us one little fact that I am not sure I agree with. He said that the newspaper industry would never go away; that there will always be print media. I think print media will go away eventually, but not in the next decade.
We ended up discussing the infamous wiretapping scandal of 2011 and the ongoing trials. Coincidentally, Rebekah Brooks was cleared of all charges that very afternoon. Brooks’ predecessor, Andy Coulson, was found guilty of conspiracy to hack voicemails. I found Verna’s take on this scandal and trial rather interesting. I wish I could of heard his take after Brooks was cleared that afternoon.
Our next speaker was Jeremy Hildreth, from ThrillingCities. I was unsure about Hildreth and didn’t know what to expect before he came to our class to speak. The class was already familiar with him because we were required to read his book, “Brand America,” for this course. I found the book to be rather repetitive and did not enjoy it much due to this fact. I half expected him to come in and prominently speak about his book, but I was excited to learn that was not the case.
Hildreth spoke about his company and the works he does for them across the world. His job prominently entails rebranding cities and countries. One city he did that stood out among the rest was the City of Vilnius. He showed a promotional video that was beautiful and awe inspiring, making me want to visit.
Here is the video he showed us in class:
Hildreth spoke about many of his accomplishments throughout his career. I was pleasantly surprised that he did not speak about his book, considering it only had one main point. He spoke about his works with Shanghai and Mongolian cashmere. He mentioned briefly how he is trying to open up his own farm to harvest the material, which the class seemed to find entertaining. He was a fascinating speaker, with content that kept me interested throughout.
The two speakers our class had the opportunity to listen to were a bonus for myself. I am a senior at Oklahoma State University, therefore I can appreciate listening to professionals in a new way. They help me envision what I may be interested in as I prepare to graduate and adventure into the “real world.” I look forward to the upcoming speakers, listening to their experiences and hopefully learning along the way.
It’s day three in London and it keeps getting better. The latest shocking and unusual observation I’ve seen is at the tube by the museums’ station. There was a harpist playing music from Titanic, the movie. I’ve been in the New York City and Washington D.C. subways and have not seen anything like that. The only musicians I’ve seen are guitarists, saxophonists and drummers. Seeing a harp in a subway shows how the city appears to be much more diverse and interesting.
So far, I’ve been in London for two days. It has been quite the culture shock in many ways. Especially in regards to the body weight of people in London. I have yet to see an obese person in this city. I have seen slightly to moderately overweight people here, but not anything close to what I see on a daily basis in America. Even in cities like Washington D.C. and New York City I see obese people around. There are not as many as back in the large cities in the U.S., but they are there.
It’s finally here; I’m going to London. I have been waiting for this moment since last October. Ever since I heard about this study tour, I knew that I had to participate.
I have been enrolled in this course since last year, therefore I anticipated not receiving an internship this summer considering the time frame that the study tour was scheduled. Surprisingly enough, I received an internship opportunity that would have me leaving directly from it to head to London. This internship was located in Washington D.C. in the Department of Interior building with the Bureau of Indian Affairs. I began my internship on May 12 and concluded today with bittersweet goodbyes, good lucks and safe travels.
I prepared for this study tour the day finals, at our university, ended. Therefore, I prepared a month and a half ago. I packed all my nice and business casual clothes for my internship, along with a few casual and comfortable clothes. Unfortunately, since I was packing the day finals ended, I had absolutely no brain to pack more casual clothes than I did. In preparing for this wonderful opportunity in London, I did not do so well. I ran out of luggage space because of all my internship clothes. Lets just say, I will be buying some clothing in London to make up for my misgivings.
I am ecstatic to travel to London this summer; I can only imagine what kind of experience this will be. I hope that it will be full of fun memories of getting lost in London, Paris and Dublin. And maybe sneak in a few local pubs along the way. I do fear the crime in London, since I continuously hear about pick pockets. To avoid this, I brought my over the shoulder purse that zips completely. Overall, I am incredibly excited to experience U.K.’s culture for these short upcoming three weeks. I hope that my plans to travel to Paris and Dublin go through and to experience the cultures of France and Ireland as well. I hope this course educates me to view the world in a different way and better communicate with these particular cultures.