As fast as you could say "Euro 2012 is over," London 2012 rose to fame. Taking a step, flipping a newspaper, riding the tube; all normal London activities are overcome by the two-week mark to the 2012 Olympics. I felt like I was in the middle of a bank robbery with the amount of cops that were walking around the tube station this afternoon. Dressed in their fluorescent yellow jackets, some armed with dogs, and all with a face as mean as The Grinch, the Olympic cops mean serious business. Frantic chatter about our transportation system crashing and excitement about possibly working from home for two weeks can be heard all along the business sector of Regent Street. Much to my dismay, the only hourly changes happening for me are I will most likely have to arrive at 7 am in hopes of beating the morning Olympic traffic. I have learned to vehemently dislike the UK tourists, which is quite ironic because I am one.
You always hear "the weeks all blended together," when people go away on vacation for an extended period of time, but I do not have that feeling in London. As I have reached my halfway mark, I feel like every week is so distinct in the activity and life that it has lead for me, that it would be a lie to say that any two weeks even remotely resemble each other. One of my favorite parts of interning abroad is it is always something new. Repetition is far and few in between, except with the cafe food. Since my last blog, the good ol' American holiday the Fourth of July struck the Intrax Interns. Try celebrating your independence in a country that you wanted to get away from. Scrounging up every last shred of red, white, and blue we could find, the interns set out to work with a bit of thrill in the air. Returning home we all decided to do what any American would do to celebrate, a 4th of July pub crawl. Blasting "Proud to be an American," my roommate and I got dressed, colorfully decorated with American flag tattoos and USA down our arms. At one of the pubs, someone asked the DJ to play anything American to help us celebrate... she played "Surfing in the USA." ... ... SO not what we were looking for.
This weekend in Hyde Park there was a huge music festival called Wireless with headlines like DeadMau5, Nicki Minaj, Drake, and Rihanna. Most of the interns bought tickets and spent Friday through Sunday knee-deep in mud singing along to their favorite bands. Sadly, I did not purchase tickets ahead of the time and the scalpers were selling them for way too much, so I got my music fix at the London iconic club Fabric. Saturday, slightly mourning the fact that I was missing Nicky Minaj and her pink hair, I did what any sane girl would do to cheer herself up, I went shopping. The only way I can explain the London fashion compared to America is, "just so much cooler." What cool is, I don't really know. Basically, you can wear whatever you please, and it will be socially acceptable. You can imagine the kooky clothes I have seen this past month.
Differences between interning abroad and studying abroad are far vaster than you would imagine. If experiencing a culture is your driving factor for traveling outside of America, I would recommend interning abroad so much more than studying, because you are forced to assimilate into a different lifestyle. What I have noticed through my friends here that are studying is that they spend almost all their time around Americans. Their classes are taught by American professors, and their classmates are American. It's basically taking your school and changing the outside environment. When you intern abroad, you are alone in a sea of culture, and it is vital that you learn or you will sink, not swim. If it weren't for my internship, I feel like I would have come to London and stuck with all the things that we're comfortable like Subway and McDonalds. Now, I eat rocket and king prawn like it's second nature. Go Google what they are if you're curious.