The Brits Don't Like the Microwave and Other Reflections on London... / by Amanda Liew

So here I am, back in my room in the beautiful 65°F-weathered La Jolla (18.5°C for you Brits reading). I only arrived back from London two nights ago, yet it seems so incredibly far away and extremely surreal. As much as I love being home, seeing my friends, and getting to see the ocean every day, I feel like part of my heart is still in London. It’s so difficult to just walk away from something so amazing - London was starting to really feel like my home. When you’re traveling all around and dealing with the stress of language barriers or school work, you associate your accommodation more and more with a place of refuge. For me, Stamford Street Apartments was that exact thing. Being able to walk down my flat and knock on Beccy’s door and complain about something stupid was just what I needed. After I brought back my sample pack of chocolate from Brussels, nearly every day we’d sit in my room and carefully break two tiny chocolate squares, savor them as long as possible to de-stress, and talk about how xenophobia was different in the UK and US, friends who meant the world to us, awkward moments, celebrity hotness, and the use of microwaves and grills. Seriously. did you know the Brits rarely use the microwave?? Our water boiler (ahem, kettle) broke, and not one of my flatmates even considered microwaving water to make tea! 

But all in all, I made some amazing friends while I was abroad. I think this picture is one of my favorites of my entire semester because it captures my relationship with Max & Beccy so perfectly:

So here’s the list of things I’ve learned while abroad:

  • No matter where you are in the world, you can never stop being Greek:
  • Wearing a suit doesn’t mean that people will take you seriously:
  • Clubs are usually filled with super weird people. Super weird people who will scare Max while attempting to befriend Beccy. 
  • This is one of the best views you’ll ever find of London:
  • The Duchess of Cambridge is really creepy as a doll
  • Don’t put mirrors in elevators because it just reminds the people inside that the weather made them look weathered:
  • Jose doesn’t give a duck.
  • But really, why is everyone so obsessed with ducks?
  • Every market in England sells animal hats. Wolves, pigs, frogs, bears, pandas- every animal imaginable. Max also got nicknamed Ms. Piggy by our tour guide. 
  • Brits say funny things like “I trod in a puddle” and “I’m pretty sure I wasn’t even flexing, I was just scratching my arm…”:
  • Punting is really difficult. So volunteer someone else to do it while you take pretty pictures with great scenery in the background and admire the hot professional punters.
  • It’s possible to meet up with a cousin from Australia who you haven’t seen in 15 years!
  • Just because the club has a theme, it doesn’t mean everybody else will actually dress up. There’s an extremely high likelihood that your group will be the only group wearing costumes:
  • As much as I wish my school looked like this, it doesn’t:
  • You won’t find another girl in the world who loves Harry Potter and chocolate as much as Sarah does. You also won’t find any other person who is practically living the same life as me:
  • Max isn’t capable of taking a single picture without doing something weird with his hand. And it drives me insane.
  • This girl can speak perfect fluent Spanish:
  • God will always bring you people who will love and support you no matter where you are in the world:
  • Whoever said the Brits can’t cook was clearly an idiot and hadn’t met Stephen:
  • Sebastien got mauled by a fox:
  • It’s possible to run into friends while in the middle of London, Paris, Brussels, and Barcelona:

  • You’ll never laugh as hard as when these people are around you:
  • It’s possible to make a dirty joke about literally anything.
  • These two very strange girls will somehow become best friends:

To each and every one of you, thank you for making my abroad experience some of the most memorable months of my life. I’ll never forget you all.