I went for a stroll around the town. It is amazing how many tourists are in the city and the extremely multicultural society who lives in London. This enormous city has a diverse range of people and cultures. In this sense multiculturalism requires that Londoners keep open-mind. Free to universalize. I have been listening many accents in my stay here: people from India, Russia, Ireland, Pakistan, Turkey, China, Germany, France and so on.
I took the bus from Killburn to Oxford Circus and a boy sat next to me with an awesome British accent. His pace of speaking was really fast but little by little my English is improving. As every language student I want to make the most progress in the shortest time so I try to follow some tips in my time in London:
1. Learning every day and practise makes perfect. Speaking by phone with the hostel, going to the museums (National Gallery, Science Museum, British Museum,…) and the free-guide tours.
2. Recording the new vocabulary. I find useful the newspapers: Metro and Evening Standard that everybody can grab on the tube stations. Puns and other forms of word play test my English.
3. Being brave. Don´t pay so much attention to small grammar mistakes and challenge myself. Of course, it is easier to say than done.
4. Use smartphone for taking notes and taking pictures. For example i like to photo sentences or catchy and creative slogans that catch my attention on the stations, on display advertisements, on any leaflets,… In particular I have eyes for the well-known sentence “keep calm and carry on” in any of its funny versions “keep calm and dream on”, “keep calm and put the kettle on”, “keep calm and press ctrl+alt+del”, “keep calm and hakuna matata”… Basically, they are “keep calm and (insert your own sentence)”.
Besides, what London has in particular, and I love it, is that there is always something going on. During these 2 weeks some events took place in the city: switching on the christmas lights in Oxford Street, some days before switching on the christmas sparkling lights in Regent Street, Halloween with people wearing fancy dresses, memory week with Londoners wearing a “poppy”, Harrods Christmas parade, the Guy Fawkes Night or Firework Night,… So many events but so little time to be in all of them.
Apart from that, to be out of the comfort area it is not easy but for sure it is a personal development. I learnt “When in Rome do, as the Romans do” so I am adapting myself to the British rules: British breakfast, maybe a brunch, the lunch time, the London Underground (Tube) among others. Remembering that learning a new language also means learning to understand other ways of thinking and doing things. So I try to do my best.
This second blog is with a picture of one of the most famous icons of London and maybe one of the most photographed place in the world. The Big Ben.