I’ve continued to notice things that are different about London to back home in big ol’ Oz. They’re not the jump-in-your-face obvious ones, but rather, the kinds of differences you slowly notice when out and about regularly…
1. Water fountains. Call it a bubbler, or whatever. When I’m wandering around, I’d like to be able to find free water. Australia has water fountains all over the place; at the beach, at the airport, at the museum, everywhere public. In London you can walk for hours without seeing one. I don’t want to buy your damn bottled water!
2. Public toilets. While I’m at it… thank god for fast food shops, because you’re outta luck if you rely on finding a public toilet in this city. Yes, there are some, though it’s pot luck as to whether they’re (a) open or (b) require a specific coin to get in that you don’t happen to have. Got 10p and 50p coins? Nope, this toilet only takes 20p!
3. Light switches on cords. I can’t remember the last time I yanked on a rope to turn on the light in Australia, but here, it’s commonplace. I may have been inebriated at the time, but I recall a moment of horror when I shut myself into a dark bathroom and couldn’t find any light switch. The cord had gotten trapped outside the door when I closed it. A moment more fumbling and I could see again. Phew.
4. Sideways plungers for the toilet flush lever. What’s wrong with a button on the top?
5. Seasons. On the Gold Coast, we pretty much didn’t have seasons. Oh, yes, you could kind of tell, but right now, flowers and shoots are appearing where previously there were only bare skeletons. It’s exciting! I even walked to uni through a mini-twister of flower petals the other day. I was practically skipping.
6. Chocolate bars are cheap. This is extremely dangerous. In Australia, I’d be paying at least $1 for a standard size chocolate bar; at a service station, it’d be more like $2. Here, they come in 4-packs for £1 (=$1.80), and cost 50p at service stations.
There must be more, but it’s all the small stuff I happen to keep noticing. Have you had any such ‘travel shocks’ when relocating or tripping around a new place?