FROM FIRST TO LIFELONG IMPRESSIONS | Darrin Henry
There is a fantastic choice of fun activities in London for anyone with a day to spend in the city, along with cultural places to visit, interesting architecture to see.
For Sharon and I, our own list of unusual things to do in London includes street interviews with strangers. There is plenty of scope to strike up conversation and get talking to people in London, after all, it is the most popular tourist city in the world with more than 18 million flocking to the UK capital each year.
‘The city that never sleeps’ is New York’s nickname, I know, but I think it applies just as much here; there are people out and about in London at all hours, and by day especially, the city centre is absolutely heaving.
During our summer visit we’ve been stopping random pedestrians to find out what brings them to London. Everyone so far has been quite happy to share their story (see part 1 and part 2). Today we’ve got two different perspectives on London.
Lynn, KC and Daniel
Lynn, KC and Daniel are Chinese. Lynn and KC have just arrived early this morning from Singapore, their very first time in London, here for a two-week visit.
Taking The Plunge And Talking To People In London
“It’s awesome,” said KC and Lynn about what they have seen so far, “we like the weather, it’s cool; in Singapore it is so hot.” Today it’s 20 deg, summer is just getting started. “We’re looking forward to seeing the buildings and sights of London and experiencing the culture. First impressions, it’s calm, quiet; Singapore is so busy compared to here.”
Once again, that observation from a visitor that London is quiet, makes us smile! I wonder what they would make of Jamestown, St Helena?
Lynn and KC are visiting the third member of the group, Daniel, who is studying business management at Coventry City University. “Coventry is great, but the roads and roundabout system can be difficult to understand,” said Daniel. “A lot of people get stuck in Coventry and find it hard to get out!”
Esther and Oge
Further along the Thames River bank we encounter two young ladies, chatting away, strolling the narrow cobblestone side streets.
Esther is London born and bred and has always lived here. She is a student, studying “English with creative writing.”
It’ll be interesting to know what a Londoner thinks about the advantages of city life and what makes this one so popular. “What’s so great is that London has everything in it,” says Esther. “As you can see we’re just standing next to the museum which is right next to gourmet burger kitchen, it’s totally random! We have so many sights and just different things that you may want to do to get different cultural experiences and have a great day out.”
Oge has also always lived in London and agrees with her friend. “You can get a different taste of the world here, so Indian, African food… everything in London.”
Oge works part time as an administrator for the British Red Cross and also in a support centre.
The girls got to know each other through church. “We’re Christians and met going to a church called ‘Expressions of Worship’ that’s where we became friends, but we no longer go there,” explains Esther.
“Today we just went out to eat, we’ve just come back from breakfast club, now we’re just walking around London, skylarking and enjoying the weather,” laughs Oge, and off they go.
And that’s the end of this 3-part series where we set out to meet people in London for street interviews. Next time you’re in a big city, maybe think about striking up a conversation with a random stranger. You might be surprised how much fun it is.