Prior to going back to school, it would not be uncommon to find me lounging on the couch twice a year for six hours at a time. I spent the duration of the time with some of my favorite things: popcorn and Mr. Darcy. I love the story of Pride and Prejudice and the BBC version that is on two DVD’s (formerly two VHS tapes!) is by far the best one. There’s something about the story that is so magical, although I am convinced that most of that magic comes from Colin Firth. Over years, I’ve also developed a fascination with other phenomenal British TV like Call the Midwife and The Great British Baking Show. Each show gives so much context about British culture, but I do realize that television can only take you so far.
One of the things I’ve learned most from British TV is that the people who make up the country are so varied and diverse, so there might not be one way to generalize the British – especially Londoners. This was evident in this weeks reading. I was surprised to learn that one of every four Londoners were born elsewhere, and almost a quarter of those born outside England are from elsewhere in the EU. It shouldn’t be surprising then that Great Britain is complex. One of the complexities is the class system that still exists in London. Generally, most people can be identified as part of their class by their speech. And lo and behold, apparently my love of British TV might pay off because a good way to learn British accents and dialects is through TV. As a fellow large-city dweller, I appreciate that Londoners are welcome to diversity, because I believe it creates a much more robust picture of culture and society. In fact, part of the reason London is so diverse is because the origins of the country are more genetically mixed.
This weeks reading makes me very excited to visit London and experience this culture for myself. In Hong Kong, similarities and differences in culture were very apparent, mostly because I had very little experience with what life was like for Hong Kongers. In preparation for our London and Oxford advance, I feel as though I have at idealized picture of what life might look like. TV has either done me a disservice or helped me get a leg up on the culture. I guess, come September, we’ll know!
 Orin Hargraves, CutureShock! A Survival Guide to Customs and Etiquette: London (Tarrytown: Marshall Cavendish, 2009), Loc.711.
 Ibid., Loc. 891.
 Ibid., Loc. 912.
 Terry Tan, CultureShock! A Survival Guide to Customs and Etiquette: Great Britain (Tarrytown: Marshall Cavendish, 2008), Loc 884.