on elitism in Europe

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1 full week in the UK, and to be quite honest, I am proud to be an American. Every place has its charm, but I already miss/value the basics, you know– super size value meals, target, CVS, even chunky garden style Ragu spaghetti sauce (oh yes, I made spaghetti today and the sauce is just off), sandwiches with Lettuce and Tomatoes that don’t cost $10… lol.

* On a special note, If anyone knows of a good sandwich, relatively cheap/affordable place in the central London area (preferably around King’s Cross or Russell square, please get at me… So far the best lunch I had was a double cheeseburger and potato wedges from Mcdonalds, and I am not  going there on a regular basis :-(*

Like I’ve said before its my first time in London, but I’m living with fam. Furthermore, there’s a girl here that I knew from undergrad and there happens to be another that shares a mutual friend with me. She recalled seeing me at a dinner two years previously! crazy or what? of all the study abroad programs, of all the schools in London…

Stuff like this has happened almost everywhere I have been (abroad). It has gotten me thinking about the whole elitism thing and how much it can shape your life one way or the other. Is this gonna happen when I join the working world too?

meeting so and so who went to high school with Ms. X who I know from undergrad or grad school? On one hand it’s great to go places and meet people you are connected to like that because it shows just how small the world can be… on the same token it makes me feel a little inbred. Sometimes you wanna go where nobody knows your name, or better yet, the “significance” of your educational attachments.

I guess that’s the cross that I must bear….lol
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On another note, riding the tube is one of the most interesting aspects of life here (so far, yeah I haven’t really got around much, in case you can’t tell).

It’s like the universal equalizer. Everybody and their homeless grandfather rides the darn thing. This of course makes for some interesting sights and sounds. Certainly there is the inundation of women dressed in Euro-chic (which I now realize isn’t chic unless your dressed like that in the states and actually stand out from everyone else ;-( There’s also the men dressed likewise, the immigrants on their way to work…

Let’s not forget the people who smell pretty badly (obviously because they don’t use deoderant, haven’t bathed in days, haven’t washed their clothes in days/weeks — trust me I am beginning to tell the difference between the sources of the different smells… lol), or pick their noses (I mean digging for gold, silver, diamonds, hell even oil…. I did not know fingers could go that far up a nose…lol) or do some other thing that would be considered pretty gross in the U.S.

hygiene in Europe has interested me ever since my first trip to Spain and the nausea I sometimes felt after riding the public buses (it was somewhat ironic I guess, since some of Spanish companions  complained about the way Moroccans supposedly smell in the souqs in the summer time!) I’ve been here a week and every time I have ridden the tube, I have seen something hygienically questionable . What’s worse is that I seem to be the only one that notices it. My aunt says that other people notice, but it’s not the British way to acknowledge it openly.

At any rate, it’s funny when I see people in the Western world do things that they look down on people from underdeveloped and developing nations for doing.

I’ve also seen the people who speak with a cockney  British accent and contrast their conversations with those who speak more like Colin Firth. I have a friend who is studying at Cambridge and plan to visit her soon. It should be interesting to contrast the bourgeoisie idiosyncrasies and mentalities (or lack thereof) with the kids I catch the train and take class with.

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