It’s been a week now, since I left London, and went back home – to Stuttgart. I left alike many other students not to come back after Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Of course I’m glad to be back home to see my family and friends, but there is a huge amount of sadness, because it’s over, and a little bit of jealousy towards those, who will return to University of Greenwich for the second half of the year or even longer.
Overall, the experiences I’ve made in London were amazing. London can be familiar and make you feel so welcome. During the past three months, I got to know so many people from different cultures, learned not only about the British culture but also about a colourful mix of others, too. In such a huge city, some places can even remind you of home. Especially the huge green places can make you feel like you’re not in London at all. My problems with London were mostly about that it isn’t really a city, where it is easy to relax. Plus, it is too expensive to be spontaneous easily. And even if I experienced just a few bad days (rainy, foggy, etc.), it can overshadow the mood of everyone so easily.
Regarding the studying experiences, there has to be stated that it is hard work to get good grades, but the feeling to get similar grades to native speakers is one of the best. For me, working together with friends in the library made these times also fun.
When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life. -Samuel Johnson (1709-84)
At the end of October, Christmas time starts in London. Theory No. 1 why it starts this early: because most of the Londoners are crazy about Christmas time. Theory No. 2: it’s because Londoners are normally Grinchs and without starting this early, they won’t get the happy feeling till Christmas eve. Theory No. 3: it’s because everyone looooves Christmas (not only Londoners) and London has to be the role model on which the world can relate to, when deciding to start preparing for Christmas.
One of my best experiences in Christmas time was the official “switch on” of the Christmas lights. Little advice: If you don’t want to travel all the way to the oxford street, etc. Find the date for the Greenwich market Christmas light and lantern parade. It is organized for kids, but it is so sweet to watch and there are, of course, many amazing street food offers around the area.
To get the most impressive Christmas feeling, I planned to have a look at the Coca Cola Christmas Truck, which was on the 18th December at the famous London Eye. But honestly, I was a little bit disappointed by this event. It is nice to get a little coke for free and the song by Melanie Thornton creates the right vibes, but it is definitely not a must-have.
At last, my time in London was an experience one of a kind. And I am sure, that someday I’ll return to this Wonderland, not only around Christmas time.