London blog by Ryan: Holiday Rush Hour

Returning home. It’s a strange feeling to say the least, after having lived in London for half a year now.

So does regularly speaking Swiss German again for that matter.  And before I will have fully adjusted to it, I will go back to London for another three weeks. Three weeks might still sound like quite a bit of time to experience London but so does half a year and yet it feels like everything went by in an instant and that there is so much more that I could have done. What I’m sure of is that home is going to be rather boring in comparison to London where there is always something new to experience and there are so many interesting places one can visit.


The weekend was partly spent finishing parts of the IPT-KN project that I handed in on Monday for evaluation by the company I have been working at during my internship these past few months. Though unlike the weeks before I decided to slow it down a bit on that front.


This opened up most of the weekend for me to go on what felt like an Odyssey through London on the search for suitable unique Christmas presents for my family. It’s London after all, so they better be unique. That and visiting the Sherlock Holmes Museum, because I had promised to do so to a certain relative of mine. It was rather nice and quite clear that a lot of effort was put into the place including guided tours, but the ticket prices were still quite high for its small size. Considering the entry for most museums in London is free of charge I quickly realized that I had stepped into what I had so far been able to avoid: the dreaded tourist trap. Managing to save at least most of my money from the all-consuming maw of the gift shop my search continued and was in the end quite fruitful.


The week itself was rather uneventful, work went on as usual in the office, apart from the communal and Christmas themed lunch on Wednesday. Though we have these once a month either way, the variety was quite welcome.


I wish I could tell you that I used the small timeframes after work to do something special or exciting in London this week but that would be a bold-faced lie. The cold I caught sometime last week saw to that. Not much exploring to be done when you feel exhausted all the time and are too busy coughing up your lungs.


The biggest shock of the week came on Saturday when all of us students were scheduled to be picked up by a taxi from eight o’clock onward. It was a bit before eight, I had been awake since half past six and was just about to do a final check through my belongings. Then the doorbell rang. Baffled I peeked out through the window and sure enough, a taxi was parked in the driveway. The madman of a cab driver didn’t just come on time, no, he was a full ten minutes early. For your understanding, a British person being early on schedule is like meeting a guy with three heads, it’s just not how they do things over there. As I was the first to be picked up I enjoyed the strange privilege of being the spectator to the exact same hectic reaction at each of the other students’ houses.


Apart from that, most of Saturday was spent at the airport. Though we had expected the place to be extremely crowded on the weekend before Christmas, passing through the controls was swift, I dare even say smoother than would have been the case in Switzerland. Though as we had been dropped off early this meant actually waiting for our flight took all the longer. Additionally, our flight was delayed several times, so we took off about an hour behind schedule.


The flight itself went smoothly and almost completely uneventful and as such, I was walking on Swiss soil again only a few hours later. Granted, having the exact same terrible weather and the area around Zurich airport looking like quite a few of the neighborhoods in London somewhat lessened the impact, but I am now home nonetheless.


Kauffrau/Kaufmann EFZ Business English