Surrounded by purely ornamental Victorian architectures, I finally realize that I’m in London, an urban and modern city of England. Hooray! In comparison to Seattle, London is busier and packed with more foreign visitors. Don’t doubt that you have gone to the wrong city if you don’t hear the lovely British-accented English on the streets. London is the center of European languages. On my walk around Piccadilly Circus, I heard French, Spanish, Indian, among others, but surprisingly, no English.

Surrounded by purely ornamental Victorian architectures, I finally realize that I’m in London, an urban and modern city of England. Hooray! In comparison to Seattle, London is busier and packed with more foreign visitors. Don’t doubt that you have gone to the wrong city if you don’t hear the lovely British-accented English on the streets. London is the center of European languages. On my walk around Piccadilly Circus, I heard French, Spanish, Indian, among others, but surprisingly, no English.

 

My first encounter with London is all about pubs. Pubs in London are as common as coffee shops in Seattle. The drinking age here is 18. More surprisingly, most pubs don’t check IDs, which is wonderful news for American college students. On Friday evening, I went to Camden Town, an area famous for pubs, bars, and clubs. This is a good area to check out if you are eager for a couple of drinks. And you don’t need to worry about dress code. Jeans are perfect for this area. The price of drinks is quite reasonable. You can get a cocktail within 4 pounds. Also, it is an easy location for a smaller group of girls to meet local guys. “Underworld” and “The Oxford Arm” are both English-style pubs.

 

It is of utmost importance that you plan ahead for your trip back to your hotel – it is easy to miss the last train. Tube stations in London close around 12:30 am. But you can still take the night bus, which is similar with regular bus routes, but only operates at night. However, make sure that you do know which bus to take! For the travelers, the bus routes are quite confusing, especially if you commute to a suburb area.

 

I missed the last train on the Friday evening after hanging out with my friends in Camden Town. And the place I live is quite far-away from the central area. I asked a couple of bus-driver, but none of them knew exactly how to get there. Also, I asked the people on the street, but they are either drunk or they don’t know directions. So I had to wait for the first train of the next morning. During my first week in London, I’ve already spent a whole night wandering around Central London and experienced its nightlife culture. The nighttime here is considerably safer than nighttime in Seattle. From 12am to 4am, the streets are full of people waiting for night buses. It’s like going shopping on the night of Thanksgiving in America. The only difference is that all the shops are closed.

 

While I wandered around the Oxford Circus, the shopping center during the day and the center of night bus stations during the night; I saw all kinds of people. Under the disguise of the darkness at night, people take off their camouflage of the day and embrace their lively and true nature. Most restaurants and cafes close at 4 am. Two workers in a Subway restaurant let me stay until 5 am out of kindness after they knew that I just arrived in London two days ago. At 5:30, tube stations opened. My night of wild exploration in Central London was over. The train came and carried away the hangovers, the party-goers and the trapped like myself. Nightlife officially ended.

 

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