My London Adventure

“Use Your Loaf”

London is very different from home. And that makes everything an adventure, even everyday things.

The grocery store is an experiment every time. A lot of the brands that are available in America aren’t sold here. Some of the ones that are, don’t taste the same, because the products used to make them are different. People are expected to go to the grocery store a few times a week. Everything is sold in smaller quantities, probably because the packagers know most people aren’t about to put all of their groceries in the car and drive home; more than likely, they’re walking home and carrying their food.

In addition, the food here is less processed. The eggs in the store aren’t refrigerated, that’s how fresh they are. The sugars they use here are different, so sodas and candy, even brownies from a box, taste different.

Cooking, even in the microwave is an experiment, because the units are different and we don’t even a little know what the comparison is (except, I do know that -40 degrees is the same in Fahrenheit and Celsius, thanks AP Chemistry; let’s be real though, that doesn’t help me in the slightest). Too long in the oven, and we’ll burn something to ash.

There’s a scale in our bathroom that’s in kilograms, so that’s interesting.

Our bathroom sink is “old-fashioned” according to my teacher. It has two separate faucets for hot and cold water. My teacher explained that the intention was for people to fill up the sink and use it, but that doesn’t really help me when all I want is warm water to wash my hands. I’ll just freeze one and burn the other and they’ll balance out, right?

The washing machines are smaller. Significantly smaller. The dryers seem to be of a similar size, though, which confuses me. Why would I put some clothes in the washer and then add clothes to the dryer? They’re also different from the ones at home. And that makes them confusing. Lisa and I accidentally started an empty washer last night by accident, and we’re no quite sure how that happened.

The detergent pods (I got those because I didn’t even know where the soap goes in these magical compartments) are super strange. They look like candy or drugs or something. But, my clothes smell good, so that’s nice.

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And, like any other language, they have phrases that make no sense to anyone. I have actually heard the phrase “jolly good” spoken, which, in my ignorant American brain, I thought was only a stereotypical phrase used in movies to designate setting, not a real phrase people used. My art teacher told us to “use your loaf” and when we all made strange looks at her, she explained that it comes from a rhyme and that loaf means head.

Everything here is so different. And I’m loving every minute.

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