Today marks 3 months since I found myself at the Arrivals section of the famous Heathrow Airport for my #112daystayintheUK. I still cannot believe how fast this term has gone and I feel like I have not explored London to its full potential yet, but I am also excited to go back home. Before coming here, I did not think living in London would be so different from California as it actually ended up to be. I figured, hey, they’re both popular, developed areas that speak English and are a melting pot of various cultures, how different can they be? Well, I was wrong. The culture here is way more unlike America than I expected it to be.
I have learned a lot about the English lifestyle from my flat rep who is a history major — which pretty much means she knows everything about anything English — and from my classes — probably the only thing I’ve learned from this school. I did not realize how great of a country America is and how much pride I have in living there until I settled in London for awhile. Yes, the British do complain about things the Americans have done and then look at me as if I was the one who decided on that, like taking out the bloody letter ‘u’ in many English words or having the colours (how do you like me now, Brits?) red, white, and blue be recognized as the American flag, when the UK had them on their flag first. I know it’s all harmless banter, but the American things they talk about were so interesting. I became the representative of all fifty glorious states of America to them, and I was alright with that.
3 months later and there are some things about California, and just America in general, that I am so dying to have again. My next post will be about things I love about England that America does not have, but for now, here are 10 things I miss about California after living in the UK:
1) This is me being a basic Californian, but I freaking miss In-n-Out. SO. MUCH. I don’t even eat it that often when I’m home, but just the fact that I have no way of getting it at all makes the cravings worse. AND ALL YOU PEOPLE’S INSTA PHOTOS WITH CHEESY, GREASY BURGERS AND ANIMAL STYLE FRIES ARE KILLING ME. #thestrugs
2) Mexican food. Greasy, dirty, sweaty Mexican food. Mexican food in England is at sit-down restaurants, actually borderline gourmet restaurants, and is just too expensive. The closest thing the Brits have to Mexican food is Chipotle, which isn’t even a poppin’ place over here. Crazy, huh? I remember coming back from Chipotle on Halloween and one of my flatmates asked me what Chipotle even sells… You’ll never hear that from a Californian. And what’s even funnier is a group of us Californians made a day out of going to Chipotle in our Christmas sweaters last Saturday for free food (#noshame) and guess who else we saw there? Yup, more Californians. We REALLY miss our Mexican food. *hint hint to my Mexican friends…
3) I know I’m making myself sound like a stereotypical, fat American here, so let me just get all of my food cravings out of the way. Other foods I miss include: red velvet yogurt with cookie dough from Yogurtland, orange chicken and fried rice from Panda Express, caesar salad and fettuccine Alfredo from Carino’s, popcorn chicken and coco loco from Cha2o, green tea mochi from Trader Joe’s, and all the Filipino food that my mom and Tito Lito cooks for me. BRB going to get food…
4) Target. Can we all just take a minute and appreciate the greatness that is Target, please? I’m going to get home and just walk around Target for fun. Judge me.
5) Driving. London’s Public Transportation is great when I am not in the mood to drive and it is so convenient because it literally goes anywhere you need to go. But when you’re carrying 3 weeks worth of groceries and then have to wait almost half an hour in the windy, freezing cold for a crowded bus to arrive so you can get back to your room that is still a few minutes walk away from the school entrance, it is just not ideal.
6) Mountains. I never realized how mountains make the aesthetics of my day just that much prettier.
7) The sun. When I check the weather on my phone in the morning and I see the sun icon, I don’t get my hopes up. It’s out for like 2 seconds and then it’s clouds the rest of the day. The past few days have been a nice surprise though since the sun has been shining. I appreciate you now, Mr. Sun [Sun, Mr. golden Sun. Please shine down on me].
8) The American college education system. Never thought I’d say that. #Biolanish
9) Being able to enjoy the outdoors. It is too cold for me to function here. I think my Filipino blood is too strong and my body only adapts to heat. I miss running outside, or even just going on walks outside. I miss being able to wear a sweater without having to wear 3 layers under and a thick jacket over. I miss wearing open-toed shoes. I miss going on hikes. I miss the smoggy California sunset.
I MISS YOU CALIFORNIA. You da best.