This morning I got ready and was off to the Waterloo train station to catch a 1:20 pm train to Woking, England.
The night before was great. I feel like I have finally conquered the metro system. Besides of accent I don’t believe anyone would tell that I was a tourist…aside from the every so often peak at the metro map…
I met up with Alex at a bar called Bonds. There were about twenty or so people and the majority were from other countries. I met a girl named Angelina from Brazil who’s studying pharmaceuticals in London. Another girl named Cherrin who is from Iraq but grew up in Finland. I also got to chat with a couple names Beuchi and Leon, Beuchi is from the south of Spain and her boyfriend is half italian and half French. Beuchi was super fun to talk to and her story was amazing. She moved to London without knowing any English. The day she arrived to the UK she stayed in a hostel where she met Leon. They were such a cute couple to chat with. Very outgoing. They are the kind of couple that walk into a room and their energy alone grabs the attention of people.
So this morning taking the metro into Waterloo station I turned a corner- almost colliding with a young girl. Fortunately I swung my body quick enough to not completely plow her over, however I felt a sharp pinch in my shoulder and had to take of my backpack due to the pain. I figured I have been lugging around a backpack for two months, I would be used to weight of my shoulder by now. But apparently my body disagrees.
The train to Woking was very quiet and comfortable. It was me and another family for the majority of the trip in the car that I was sitting in. Woking is my first experience in a smaller town outside of London. It’s pretty interesting to see the difference in people and how life is lived in towns vs. the big city.
1. Much cheaper here than in London. Lunch here is only 3 pounds whereas of I bought a coffee in London it would be the same- 3 pounds…maybe more.
2. I am the minority. Not Americans here! I’m pretty sure I’m the only one. But you know smaller towns are much more willing to chat and help out when I’ve been lost or had any questions.
3. The pace is sllllloooowwwwww. Compared with London Woking is much more low key. Walking the streets of ‘downtown’ Woking people wonder like they have no where to be. Moms strolling babies, young boys eating fries out of a box from fried food vender and showing off who can shove the most greased covered potatoes in their mouths.
I stopped in a coffee shop for tea and everyone working was sitting around and playing with a dog.
A few hours later Ellie’s husband Ben picked me up in Woking and we drove to their home in High Wycombe. Ben explained that the town was originally built in a valley a very long time ago, and because of the growth they built the town on the hills surrounding the small city. So for that reason England sees High Wycombe is a unique place.
Okay now let me share with you for a bit on how I felt about my first experience as a passenger in a car in the UK…
From the minute we drove off to when the car pulled into the driveway I thought I was going to hit every single car, tree, post and building. It is such a crazy feeling to have everything you know about driving be all on the left side of the car instead of the right side. Okay okay, If you really want to know how it feels this is what you do… Get in your car and drive on the opposite side of the road into oncoming traffic.
Like I said. Feels so wrong.
I finally got to Ben and Ellie’s home at around 7:30pm. It was such a sweet reunion to see an old friend from when you were little. And especially when it’s like you’ve never been a part. We ate pizza and a salad & caught up on life from when they moved to England a year ago. Plus we talked all about her pregnant belly and her son baby Isaiah James, who’s due September 22nd!!!
I went to bed at 11:30pm with a heart full of joy and love for great people and friends in my life that are willing to spend time and host me.