During my trip to the UK I observed tons of people on my trip. Rude people, nice people, inbetween people, and people with wigs, however it isn’t the end all be all of all the people that live in the UK. I learned more about the culture of not just the UK but of our times from people watching than from all the museums I went to. I find that people watching or simply observing what’s around helps to see our current culture as it is, and not believe in what the media says. Not everything is as it seems, and memory has a way of changing as time goes on, but nonetheless here are my observations of people I encountered in the UK.
First Impressions of London
There were so many different cultures, languages, food, and people from all over the world here. Similar to New York I would walk down a street and hear 5 different languages pass by. While waiting in line at Victoria Station I saw people from Africa in their garbs, in their mid 40’s, black as night, speaking in a different language waiting patiently in line to get an Oyster card at Victoria Station it looked liked they were family.
London has many different people from all over the world, but also has many different neighborhoods. We stayed at an Airbnb our first few days in London as what I would describe as the China town version, but scrap the China, and put Muslims instead, neighborhood. We were hauling our luggage not knowing where we were, and hearing all sorts of languages, but especially Arabic while passing by vendors selling scarves, and beautiful decorated modest dresses. We passed by kabobs and Arab restaurants and Chinese food that seemed to be owned and operated by Arab people. Not to mention the news came up in my memory and told me to be afraid. Yet nothing happened to us, and we were safe.
Rude Teenagers Get Away at Euston Station or Did They?
We were at Euston station heading towards a place to sit to wait for our train to Manchester. As we were walking, a man in a suit was checking train tickets who obviously checked the tickets to catch people taking the train without paying. I noticed everyone in front gave their ticket to the man except what looked like to be teenagers in front of us. I couldn’t call them African Americans because, well, we were in England. And they had an English accent so they were obviously from the UK. They looked at the man asking for the ticket with disgust as if he were insulting them. It was a girl and a boy who started arguing with the man, “Why are you asking us for our ticket! That’s ridiculous! Man you gotta be kidding me.” The man had an Indian accent and looked as if he has some roots/connection there and repeatedly said, “You must show me your ticket or you cannot pass.” The rude teenager boy pushed by him while the girl stayed behind rummaging in her bag for something (maybe the ticket) she looked more afraid of getting in trouble. The Indian man yelled after the young man, “Wait! Stop or else I’ll call the police! Police! Police! Where’s the police!?” looking side to side as if the police would appear immediately because he said so. The boy got away, and in the midst of the Indian man distracted it the girl escaped as well. The Indian man shrugged his shoulders and moved on to take our tickets.
The Teenager with the Wig Giving Advice to a Child
We were on the train to Manchester, and as people were finding their seat on the train I saw a teenager wearing an orange wig and dressed in gothic, I couldn’t pin point the style really, clothes. Steven and I smiled at each other because she was very unique if you will. The train started, and we were off. The children on the train started to get kind of antsy as time went on and a little girl, she was probably 8 or 9, asked the teenager about her wig. “Hey, is that a wig?” The teenager was so friendly and jolly and said “Why yes it’s a wig!” She seemed to be ecstatic she was asked about her wig. The little girl smiled and was so intrigued and asked her more questions like why are you wearing a wig? What’s your name? How old are you? The teenager replied, “because you can store and hide things in it like your money!” The little girl laughed. I heard “I’m 18. ” and “I’m a teenaagja.”
In-between their conversation my mind trailed off to looking out the window to observe the beautiful sights. The wig girl’s conversation faded into the background.
My ears perked up when I heard “Don’t shave your armpits when your older, just let it grow, and be natural, just be yourself.”
Then I heard “Stay in school, schools so important, get your education.” I nodded within myself in agreement.
The little girl and the teenager in the wig started talking about each other’s favorite music and sharing each other’s favorite songs on the train and it was a pleasant rest of the train ride.
The Guy Who Gave me a Thumbs Up for no Reason
Was walking in Grasmere with cut up jeans. Guy randomly says “Hey!” and gives me a thumbs up. I give a quick thumbs up back and walked quickly past him. That’s it.
The Lady Who Told Us to Get Off Our Bikes
Steven and I went bike riding through Grasmere a small town in the Lake District. I noticed a sign that said “Walk Bikes Through Park.” Since Steven’s in front I thought I’d follow his lead. Up ahead there were two women talking with their dogs on leashes. They stopped their conversation and looked straight at us from afar and didn’t stop staring until we were so close they stared straight at us. Uh oh that look adults give.
When we approached one of the ladies told us “Did you know your not supposed to ride your bike through the park, your supposed to walk your bikes” Steven and I stopped immediately and got off our bikes. She looked us straight in the eye and started to tell us how there could be children around, and even though it’s their parents fault for not watching their kids we could accidentally hurt them. Steven said sorry and I said thank you. So me and Steven walked our bikes through the park.
The Kind Waiter @Truly Scrumptious Coffee House
We were tired and hungry. Carrying our luggage on our backs and didn’t have breakfast yet. We were headed back to London from the Lake District and stopped at the Truly Scrumptious Coffee house in Kendal. It was truly a wonderful thing to have when most service in the UK is not the same friendly and fast service in the U.S. I really appreciated that the nice waiter accommodated us with great service even though our heavy backpacks took up a lot of space in the small cafe. I noticed how kind he was to everyone who came into the cafe and how diligent he worked and served everyone quickly as possible with a smile and friendly attitude.
The Excited and Smiley Lady on the B Bus
I noticed this very excited and smiley lady on the Tea Bus that’s called the B Bus which is
in affiliation with the B-Bakery. You have afternoon tea with a delicious tiered tray with yummies. I assumed she was from London and I thought how wonderful to
smile like that when you live somewhere that in your mind never gets old. She appeared young and youthful probably one of those who look way younger than they really are.
There you are a pic collage of all the people I noticed enough to write about them from the UK. What was a time when you observed someone and learned something from it or it was just pure random entertainment?
– Traveling teaches us that observing people around us can lead us to more inspiring ideas in life.