I would like to share with you about my first serious trip to London, UK. In truth, the idea to go to London was originated a long time ago, when I was 12-13 years old. I can not explain why, but on I always, when heard the question: "Where would you like to study/live?" -, without hesitation answered: "In London!" I was repeatedly frightened by the fact that London is a city of dampness and fogs, that there for sure I will have impassable depression and all that. I persistently said: "No!", - continuing to believe that sometime there will come a day when on the table I will have an air-ticket to London, and I, in turn, will feverishly think what should I take with me there. And now, my dream has come true! I will not say that it was implemented quickly (it took a lot of time to complete all necessary documents and issue a visa), but I finally got to London! I thank Education Standard for this opportunity, because, I most likely would not have visited the place until now without this company’s participation. In general, upon arrival to Heathrow International Airport, I immediately fell in love with everything: starting from tired and taciturn airport employees and finishing with the same taciturn driver of our taxi.
Despite my own fatigue (we flew about 7 and a half hours), I was curious to the horror, and every now and then I asked the driver about certain places. True, I was a little mistaken in the scale of the city, it took us 2 hours to get to the house, so after an hour of our drive, it became to me almost all indifferent where we were and what in general we were passing by. Arriving, I saw a pretty nice house, and hoped in my heart that the mistress of this house was pretty nice. Thank God, my hopes were justified. We met a nice woman, Jennifer, who I immediately liked. The room that was assigned to me surpassed all my expectations. It was very cozy. True, it was an unpleasant surprise for me that in London the outlets are different compared to ours, and we did not take an adapter. I confess that on the first night I really wanted to go home, because I woke up at 3:00 in the morning (it was about 8:00 in our time), without charging on the phone and feeling anxious for my relatives, because I promised to contact them as soon as possible I will fly to the place. Having dropped all the details, since they may not seem very interesting, I ended up at my school, called Oxford International Language School.
We had to pass a fairly easy test to determine the language level, after which I was sent to the class where I had to study for the next 10 days. Tying myself up in knots, I found my class and, having gained courage and seeming at ease, I went in. I must say, all my fears were in vain: I was met by class-fellows as a long-time acquaintance. The teacher turned out to be just gorgeous, I did not feel such a cheerful atmosphere at any lesson in my life. The name of the teacher was Jude, and in my opinion, he was the coolest teacher of all at this school. The atmosphere in the school itself was very friendly, everyone was greeting you, when passing by, joking and inviting you to drink tea together. Lessons were conducted each time in completely diverse ways: then we, without ceasing, laughed and played games, then sat and pored over the grammar and tests. What I liked most about the training was the fact that the guys changed places every day, so I had the opportunity to chat with each of them. The group was very international, there were guys from France, Spain, Italy, South Korea, Turkey, Oman. I also liked that our teacher was one of those people who are not afraid to say "I do not know", like us, bumping into information unknown to him, he looked for it on the Internet, writing down and teaching. In general, about the school, I can only respond positively and, once again thank the teachers and staff for warm welcome. But, you know, everything depends on a person himself. A person who accustomed to seeing bad things would probably find many shortcomings in the school itself and in the training system, but I really did not see them.
Now I would like to tell you about London itself and the places I visited. I wanted to find out what the founder of the modern English dictionary, Johnson, meant when he said: "Who is tired of London, he is tired of life." It turned out that this is true. In London, I discovered a sea of all kinds of entertainment, leisure and improvement of my own life, which I would not have found in another city of the world. However, it depends on a person himself. London is a city of great temptations, and everyone should decide for himself what he wants to do. The city lives a busy life: clubs, bars, restaurants and all kinds of places for gatherings are open day and night, shopping lovers will discover the unthinkable variety of shops, from branded shops with the highest prices and ending with small but pretty little shops with hand-made items. I, in turn, decided to choose a more spiritualized activity. I walked a lot, having the opportunity to visit a lot of museums and galleries (I was lucky as all the museums are mostly free), visited the Madame Tussauds Museum, where it was incredible. Of course, I visited all the most famous places in London, I will not write about them, because they are described much better on the Internet, but I can only say: there is no need to look at the pictures on the Internet and read the description of these places, all this can never convey that feeling , which you feel, looking at everything with your own eyes. Be careful: shopping in London sucks with terrible force. Even realizing that you do not have much money, you still grab the whole mountain of clothes, which even does not fit in your hands, and stubbornly you walk into the fitting room.
While I was there, I was very lucky, as all the time of my stay in the city the sun was shining.
So, what struck me the most in London?
1. People. I have never seen such contrast anywhere. I tend to observe people, evaluate their appearance, but not by the criterion of being beautiful or ugly, but by the criterion of being happy or not. I had the opportunity to see the sea of fates of people meeting me in the morning in the metro, colliding with me at school or on excursions around the city. The re was absolute absence of flossing or the need to show off before others. Many times I came up with a request for help to people when I could not head around the stations or subway schedules or trains, or when I asked how to get to the street I needed I invariably met a friendly attitude, a smile and a wish for a good trip.
2. The fact that everyone was reading everything. This was, for me, perhaps the strangest discovery. Going into the subway, you may see that everybody are reading. If you take into account 20 people, at least 10 of them read newspapers (they are free, which was also a surprise), 5-6 people read a book, another 2-3 read a book on the phone, and the remaining one listens to the audio book ( there really were audio books, not music, I asked). I myself am a great fan of reading, so realization of the fact that so many people read was enjoyable.
3. Unlimited opportunities for leisure and realization of all possible aspects of the personality. That's really, dancing, music classes, street competitions and entertainment, walks and jogs in the parks, visits to museums and special drawing classes in the same place, without departing from the pictures – it is impossible to name everything.
4. Cleanness. In the city you can sit on the pavement in white trousers, and I assure you, they will remain clean. It's nice to walk around the city. Very nice.
5. Nature. So much greenery, trees, and hence clean, sweet air – I wanted very much to breathe deeply and smile to the whole world. My 10 days spent in London were, perhaps, the happiest time of my life. It was not for nothing that I dreamed to visit that place and I can confidently say that my long-standing dream, all the means that my family spent on this trip, were completely justified. Leaving from there, I cried. London turned out to be truly my city. As Jackie Chan said: "Sometimes one day spent in other places gives more than 10 years of life at home."
Once again I would like to thank Education Standard for organizing this trip and everything else. I would like to wish everyone: travel. As much as possible. As far as possible. As more as possible. The impressions gained on a trip make life more fun and, moreover, they will never be forgotten.