Semester in London already offering fashion tips, tube safety methods

Semester in London already offering fashion tips, tube safety methods

London: Home to fish and chips, Big Ben and the “Spice Girls.” Former home to David Beckham and currently my playground for the next 10 weeks.

It’s now been three weeks since I’ve landed in this amazing city and I’ve seen a multitude of sights, sounds and quite a few interesting people. These experiences have, at times, made me never want to leave this city. At other times, it has brought back fond memories of good ole’ Indianola.

Traffic is just one issue that makes me appreciate the small-town life of Iowa. How people manage to even drive on these streets is a mystery to me, with roads turning from one-ways to two-ways, roundabouts and funky curves. People cut each other off and buses pass each other with a foot in between them.

Then there are the tubes. You get smashed like sardines, standing shoulder to shoulder with perfect strangers. You smell the latte on the breath of the person on your left and the stench of body odor covered by cologne of the person on your right.

Most of the time, it’s worth the discomfort. I’m a 20-minute tube ride from almost any destination.

“People traffic” is a whole other issue. I’ve come to realize that “dodging, ducking, dipping and diving” are useful when walking the streets of London.

There is no unwritten rule about walking on the right side of the sidewalk. It’s more of a “get to where you can as fast as you can and don’t worry about cutting people off.”

You also have the people who suddenly stop in the middle of the sidewalk to consult their map. Let’s not forget the always -reliable homeless person begging for change.

Fashion here is a different level compared to that of Iowa. It’s a lot classier. Oxfords and blazers are the norm for men and shorts are never seen. Women are in trendy skirts with designer bags and sunglasses.

There is also a lot edgier fashion. Teens and 20-somethings wear brightly colored

jeans, funky tops and Converse All-Stars.

Hairstyles are also interesting. London hasn’t gotten the memo that mullets and fauxhawk/mohawks have been ousted.

It appears that the elderly like to set themselves apart as well, and I can’t tell you how many people over the age of 60 I’ve seen with red or even purple highlights.

I’m 19. In London this means I’m the legal drinking age! Gone are the days I have to pay a bum on the street to buy my alcohol. I can now go into the market and buy my beer without even getting asked for my ID.

However, clubs charge a 10-15 pound cover charge to get in on the weekends. But it’s possible to go out for cheap. During the week, you’ll find all sorts clubs offering free entry and two-for-one drink specials.

Lucky for me, the weather has yet to be an issue. We haven’t seen the usual London mist. It’s been quite nice and sunny with a slight breeze, making visiting outside attractions a lot nicer.

The food here is like back home, for the most part. The Big Macs taste the same. What’s nice, is with such a diverse culture, you find all sorts of different food options- Indian, Thai, Mexican and Chinese all within the same block.

Here, you can hear pretty much any language. Standing on the tube one day I heard conversations in German, French, English and what sounded to me like Portuguese.

There’s always something to do and somewhere to go and it’s pretty easy to get around.

Not to name-drop or anything, but we’ve seen Orlando Bloom and yes, we got his picture and autograph. We also saw another show with Kelly Osbourne, who I had also seen the previous night when I was out at the clubs.

While the traffic may be insane and I can’t always understand what people are saying, I love this city and am looking forward to my next 10 weeks.

To find a day-to-day account of Drew’s “Life in London” check out his blog at: