How are you doing? Are you surviving in-between posts? Are you getting
incredibly slightly depressed when you know that you have to wait with bated breath for my next quirky anecdote? Have no fear for I have returned! I will bring you out of your stupor for maybe five minutes while you read this and then send you spiraling back down into the black void of your lonely mind. Apparently I have turned into a wizard while I was gone.
Anywho, I’m back after settling into my place and making a fool of myself by carrying way too many kitchen utensils and bedding home on the tube during rush hour (and the people here aren’t helpful, they just laugh at you…which is why I love them). The other day I took a few moments out of my hectic schedule (it’s not hectic at all, I’m just really lazy) to do some adult things like change all the utility bills into my name and order wifi for my flat. Note: In England, it can take up to three weeks for a company to set up your wifi and those weeks WILL BE ABSOLUTE HELL. I’ve been living off of coffee shop wifi. It could be worse. hashtagfirstworldproblems
Other noteworthy observations:
1. British phone plans are ridiculously cheap compared to ones in the US and I have no idea why. At home I paid a minimum of $75 a month and here I only pay £20 for the exact same service. Fucking capitalism.
2. Dental work is not covered by the National Healthcare System. This probably the reason for the “bad teeth” theme they’ve got going on. WHY ISNT DENTAL WORK EVER COVERED UNDER REGULAR HEALTH CARE PLANS!? EVERYONE HAS TEETH THAT NEED TO BE TAKEN CARE OF! AND SOMETIMES THEY HURT REAL BAD!
3. Contrary to the cell phone service prices, gyms in London are significantly more expensive than in the states. Everyone here is already skinny so they probably have to jack up the prices for the
fatties metabolically challenged so they can stay in business.
Now onto the advice portion of my post (I wrote it in the title but got really sidetracked…oops).
If you do not know how to pronounce a word JUST DON’T SAY IT. I guarantee you that you will butcher it and get laughed out of whatever tube station/pub/artesian tea shop you’re in. If you are not sure how a certain word or name (those usually give us Americans the most trouble) should be pronounced, ask someone how to say it or wait for someone to mention it in conversation.
Unfortunately, the Brits decided that pronouncing words phonetically is just too simple. Tube station names will never cease to plague you. The minute you think you know how to say them all a new one pops up and laughs in you face when you struggle to ask a local how to get to “Southwark” when you should be asking for “Suth-ark”. “Gloucester” is not “glou-ces-ter” but “gla-ster”. And my personal favorite: “Surrey Quays” which is actually “Surrey Keys”. HOW IS “QUAYS” PRONOUNCED LIKE “KEYS”? HOW? THOSE LETTERS DON’T DO THAT.
All I’m saying is that you will out yourself as an idiot tourist the minute you mangle the name of a popular tube stop or pub. Just pull a Sherlock and pay attention to the way the locals pronounce things. As someone who is desperately trying to not be “that obnoxious American”, I have been doing some hardcore detective work. When I’m on the tube, I obsessively listen to the Siri-like lady who announces each station name so I can pronounce ‘em like a pro.
For my next episode I will be discussing the all important tube etiquette, which is something that all people really just need to learn…in general.
Okay, I’m out…like a pouting trout..who has gout…yeah.