Unicorns In London And Other Awkward Stereotypes

Posted by:     Tags:      Posted date:  May 14, 2011  |  21 Comments
Insert Drawing :)

My first couple of days in London have been uneventful. I’ve been so tired but it’s not just jet-lag. I literally had to work everyday for the last 6 months, without a full day off. So I guess my body has finally decided to crash.

Ironically, I’m finding myself having to resist the urge to call my company to send me back already! It’s like that scene in Shawshank Redemption where the guy was let out of prison and he hated it. I’m sure if I give it a few days, I’ll be able to pull through. It’s like when you’ve had KFC the night before and the next day, you’re still craving it because you’ve become addicted. That’s what ship life is like, only less calories.

I have to say though, the real world is dirty and smells funny. Or maybe that’s just London.

After being away from London for so long, I’m seeing it again with fresh eyes. There’s so many people around that it’s almost overwhelming. It’s like going from a small town (ie. my ship) to a huge city. Over here, people are dressed to impress and have no qualms about walking into you or pushing you out of the way. If Londoners really want to impress me, perhaps they could try smiling.

I loved living in London when I worked here 5 years ago. In the two years I was here, I saved more money then ever in my professional career, while traveling at least once per month. I would fly over to cheaper countries like Lithuania or Poland for the weekend and party like a rockstar. It was almost like I was kind of a big deal.

But now in London as a visitor, I feel poor. The other night when I was confronted with a £38 bill for a sushi dinner for two, I thought I was going to cry. I craved crew mess food again. Give me four kinds of rice and dubious meat anytime, if it’s free!

The funny thing is Londoners don’t even know how good they have it. That’s the difference I find between Americans and British. Americans are ignorant but they think they have it the best. British people are ignorant but think they have it the worst. I’ve had two people here already ask me if the USD is stronger than the pound. No folks, the USD may be the most prevalent currency but the pound is still much much stronger. (Admittedly, both are much weaker than they used to be)

Or like how English people complain about the weather. Yes, the skies are grey and its not as nice when compared with Spain or Portugal. But have you lived in Canada before?! One year when I lived in Toronto, there was 6 months of snow. If you’ve never experienced 6 months of snow, let me tell you what it’s like.

Month 1: WOW, this is amazing! I’m going to build snowmen everyday.
Month 2: This is so much fun. Look at me, I’m making snow angels.
Month 3: This is still interesting. Just wish my balls weren’t frozen. I’m not sure if I can even have kids now.
Month 4: I’m so over this.
Month 5: WHEN WILL THIS HELL FUCKING END?!
Month 6: Please kill me.

The only thing worse about being subjected to 6 months of snow in Toronto was how deliriously happy the Canadians seemed to be about it. If you talk to a Canadian during winter, they’d say something along the lines of “Great day to be out and aboat, eh?” I wanted to shake them and say “No it’s not goddamnit! This is hell and it has frozen over. I can’t even feel my balls!”

Admittedly, if we had another ice age, Canadians will probably be the most likely ones to survive it.

The best thing however, about being in London are the pubs. It’s nice to be able to enjoy a pint of lager again. But it’s seems so bizarre how half the people here are women. I kept nudging my mate last night going “Omigod, look another woman!” He gave me the weirdest look. But can you really blame me? After all these months, it’s like seeing a beautiful unicorn.

Have you ever visited or lived in London? What do you think of it?

About Me


I'm a wanderer, couchsurfer, writer, illustrator, uncoordinated dancer, unwitting minimalist, party enthusiast, free hugger and now a crewman. Follow me @roymarvelous .................................................................................................................... Also, find out how to work on cruise ships. Or check out the new T-shirt & Card store.



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21 Comments for Unicorns In London And Other Awkward Stereotypes

Robyn

Try winter in Winnipeg. It's colder and longer. Toronto winters are mild compared to Winnipeg.
My recent post Six and a half hours

    cruisesurfing

    I believe you. Toronto winters are mild compared to the dark side of the Moon too 😉

    cruisesurfing

    Sure, Toronto is balmy compared with the dark side of the moon too 😉

    Jade Johnston

    I'm from Winnipeg and its so true! Toronto people complain, but their winter isn't even COLD. Well, at least not by our standards. I went to Toronto once time in the middle of winter, and it seemed like a Winnipeg spring.
    My recent post Midweek Snapshot – Zimbabwe, May 2010

Dalene Heck

This Canadian has never been deliriously happy about winter (I've managed to escape the last two), but lately here in Honduras, I could use a face wash with snow…it's too hot, eh?

(Notice the correct Canadian spelling of "eh", and not "ay") 🙂

My recent post Foto Friday – Basílica Catedral de Arequipa

    cruisesurfing

    Hehe, thanks for the correction Dalene.

Ayngelina

Good lord who did you talk to, Canadians hate winter. After the first week we're hoping for an early Spring or global warming to hurry up.
My recent post Iguazu Falls- you should go

    cruisesurfing

    Haha, well, I think Canadians are just positive people and try to see the glass as half full (of snow)!!

Jenna

"Americans are ignorant but they think they have it the best. British people are ignorant but think they have it the worst."

Interesting perspective Roy 🙂 I've never been to London but from what I hear it is a VERY vain city. Like many. It is definitely the norm to look super-expensively-flashy and act aloof all the time in Los Angeles, too. That kind of prevailing culture kind of dumbs people down as far as what really matters in life, though. It can be a little sad to hear someone freaking out about their iphone's battery dying, like it was the end of the world. "Oh no! I have to talk to REAL PEOPLE now!" Heheheh.
My recent post Office Work & the Toll It Takes on the Body

    cruisesurfing

    Yeah and admittedly it's commonplace behavior in any large city!

Natalie

I'm with Ayngelina – I'm Canadian and have never gotten used to this ridiculous cold weather! Having lived in Australia for a couple years doesn't help either. But I'm moving to London in 6 weeks and it's great to hear that the weather is better slightly better over there. Enjoy your time in the UK 🙂
My recent post Can I Escape My Past and Move On

    cruisesurfing

    I'm jealous Natalie, you're going to LOVE London.

jill

Welcome to London! Have to admit that our first impression of London wasn't so great when we visited awhile back – but we do miss the chaos and everything London-ish. My heart belongs to the countryside though. Are you planning to stay there awhile?
My recent post Looking for imperfection in Guatapé

    cruisesurfing

    I do miss living in London. I'm here for 1 more week!

Amanda

as an Australian from the hottest part of Australia and having lived in Canada for 3 years I fucking love the snow and the longer the season the better!!! But of course I was obsessed with snowboarding and well required snow for that 🙂 the -40 however Canada can keep that!!

    cruisesurfing

    I love snowboarding too! Getting to work in the snow is a completely different matter however…

Annj

LOL about Toronto winters! I love the snow, and actually miss it (it doesn't snow too much in Busan) but I don't miss the windchill and utter cold that comes along with it! I def get the winter blues cuz like you said, after 2 months, I'm done. It's so annoying to keep shoveling snow when more just keeps falling. Plus driving in snow is killer!

I used to live in a small town in England a few years ago, and used to visit London on the weekends. Damn, it was expensive.. and I went back a year ago for xmas and it was only more expensive! It's such a great city though, always alive and Brits can be snotty yet friendly in an eerie way. I enjoy it very much, esp the great selection of beers.
My recent post Being an Independent Traveller – its really no big deal!

    cruisesurfing

    Yeah England is actually quite affordable if you're working here…Too bad I'm not anymore!

Jade Johnston

London isn't THAT bad. Although I must admit, I hated it for the first two months I lived there – and that being said – I only lived there for three months. My first two months of living in London where characterized by angsty facebook notes with such titles as "London: A Horror Story", but now I just love the city. After doing a working holiday in Wellington, I miss the fast paced lifestyle of London. I don't miss Canadian winters though. Those are crap.
My recent post Midweek Snapshot – Zimbabwe, May 2010

    cruisesurfing

    Yeah, I definitely grew to love London too. i want to go back!

Robert L. Aldrich

Yeah England is actually quite affordable if you're working here