Multi-cultural Britain

One thing I soon learnt in London was how much a will power of a person can conquer anything as the English proverb says, ‘where there’s a will, there’s a way!

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Christmas Or “kiss Mas”?

The first Christmas in London was something to look forward to from what I had read about in books but not seen. The traditional Christmas preparation and celebration that I had seen at home as an adolescent was quite different to what I saw in England.

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‘Boxed up’ and shivering in the cold!

As I came out of the controlled area of the Heathrow airport, after going through immigration and baggage clearance, it was a great relief to see Sam waving at me from a distance, the only Sri Lankan face I could spot from the crowd waiting at passenger arrival gate.

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UK’s National Health Service is a publicly funded healthcare system

Although it appeared to be somewhat complex to understand the underground railway network and the sophisticated time tables at major British Rail stations such as Paddington, Victoria, Kings Cross, Charing Cross, London Bridge and Waterloo where Flicker Row method with flipping train time tables operated, one could build up confidence and familiarise with the system with ease, but one thing that took some time to come to grips with was the old English money which was in Pounds (£), Shillings (‘s’) and Pennies (‘d’) - 20 Shillings or 240 pennies making one Pound, and the penny further sub-divided into two halfpennies or four farthings (quarter pennies).

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The Tube Tunnels And Thunders Through

The London underground railway network (colloquially known as the ‘Tube’) is 150 years old and serves a considerable part of Greater London and some parts of Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Essex through tunnels as well as sub-surface covering 253 miles while transporting millions of passengers on a daily basis.

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Ha, 'English' sangfroid!

A crowded and confusing maze of corridors inside the Heathrow Airport did not pose a problem for me as hundreds of passengers after landing kept on moving towards immigration counters and baggage halls all the time (every three minutes either a plane takes off or lands at Heathrow). Metaphorically speaking, I appeared like a 'lost lamb in a flock of sheep driven forward automatically without a shepherd'!

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Went to sleep 'shivering like a virgin'

Unlike the present generation of kids who are far more advanced, bubbly and confident (as we see on reality shows on TV these days) we lacked that buoyancy in our childhood, may be due to over-protective attitude of our parents! When we were kids, travel from one place to another was normally done in the company of a parent(s) or escorted by a chaperon in the case of girls.

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On a wing and a prayer

It is evident that today there is a burning urge for people in this country to abandon Sri Lanka and seek greener pastures elsewhere. Three-four decades ago foreign travel was mainly confined to students for further studies.

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