Stories

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Never Bet On A Greyhound Named Droopy Mondo

Norah McEllistrim has 32 dogs—and that doesn’t include the 82 that she cares for at her kennels. A ... read more

02 Mar 2009
 

Insider Tips

Food

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Stick with the Christmas pudding

Variations on pudding provided both my favorite and most despised foods in London. Christmas pudding is a delicious steamed concoction with dried fruits, and has a consistency like breaded creme ... read more

06 Feb 2009
Being an American

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Keep it down

From what I noticed, Americans tend to be a little louder than everyone else. Speaking quietly can help you blend in better. read more

06 Feb 2009
Health

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Forget the bill, it's free!

Because health care is publicly-funded in London, trips to the emergency room are free--as my friends & I so bittersweetly discovered the night we got caught up in a bar fight ... read more

06 Feb 2009
Dating

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Don't expect a horse and carriage ride

Unless you've taken his seat, don't expect an English man to approach you in a pub. I find they generally gather enough courage only very late in the ... read more

06 Feb 2009
Packing

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Bring a raincoat

No need to pack a poncho--it rains, but not as though you're in the middle of White Water rapids. It's generally more of a drizzle, in which case ... read more

06 Feb 2009
Must Do

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Two for the price of one

Take a ferry to Greenwich to see the Prime Meridian. Dorky, I know...but how many people can say they've been in two hemispheres at once!? read more

06 Feb 2009
Nightlife

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Early drinking, dinner optional

The nightlife starts earlier--but doesn't necessarily end early. Most people head to the pubs straight from school or work, and it's OK to substitute beer for dinner. "Eating ... read more

06 Feb 2009
Festivals & Events

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Apple Day keeps the doctor away

On the day they switch to daylight savings, the Brits celebrate autumn with Apple Day. I went to Borough Market on the Thames River where there were apples in every ... read more

06 Feb 2009
Film

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Forget the movies, see a play

If you're in England and seeing movies, Shakespeare would be ashamed. Go to the Royal Court Theatre near Sloane Square. The venue hosts a variety of progressive and experimental ... read more

06 Feb 2009
Culture Shock

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Look the other way

My biggest mistake was not expecting culture shock! I figured London would be just like New York City, only with fancier accents. Since they drive on the opposite side of ... read more

06 Feb 2009
Culture Shock

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Be aware you have an accent

Depending on your American accent, some people might have trouble understanding you. It took me months to realize everyone thought my name (Ann) was "Ian" because I pronounce it with ... read more

06 Feb 2009
Religion

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Churches harder to come by

Because Henry VIII broke from Catholicism in the 1500s and created the Church of England, London's not really a hub for Catholics. Not surprisingly, I found it MUCH more ... read more

06 Feb 2009
Sports

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Learn to love the original football

Football (aka soccer) is addictive--It's the most popular sport worldwide, and I find it fascinating that it hasn't caught on in the U.S. Go Arsenal! read more

06 Feb 2009
Books

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London from "A" to "Zed"

Get a book called "A to Z" (FYI, Londoners pronounce "Z" as "zed" for some reason). It's basically a pocket guide to all the different neighborhoods in London. And ... read more

06 Feb 2009
Politics

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Be ready to talk American politics

The English are very involved in politics--especially American politics. Obama's election made front page news on all the papers, and anyone who knew I was American wanted to talk ... read more

06 Feb 2009
Etiquette

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Say sorry first

If someone steps on your foot in the tube, apologize. Brits are the first to say "sorry" even when the offense isn't theirs. read more

06 Feb 2009
Fashion

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Plaid is for tourists

Unless it's lining a trench coat, only tourists wear the Burberry plaid. read more

06 Feb 2009
Fashion

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Dress for rain or shine, mostly rain

Always have an umbrella and sunglasses in your bag--the weather's notoriously fickle. read more

06 Feb 2009
TV

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X Factor fever

The Brits absolutely LOVE the X Factor (the show that inspired American Idol). Some people actually stay in on Saturday nights to watch the show live! read more

06 Feb 2009
Slang

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A few key words

I never knew you could be bilingual in one language. If someone loves wife beaters, they're talking about beer. "Rahs" (adapted from "hoorah!") are preppy guys. And cigarettes have ... read more

06 Feb 2009
Getting Around

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The Tube is fast, but buses have the view

I found the tube to be the most efficient way to get around. London's divided into 5 zones, 1 being the most central. It's faster to actually walk ... read more

06 Feb 2009
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