NY-LON Q and A with Tisha Brown, an American living in London and editor of AFY! Online,
a website and resource for Americans living in London.
Tisha started her blog, AFY! Online (www.afy-online) after realizing that there wasn’t a resource out there for Americans who live in London. Many people who have just arrived all have similar questions (i.e. where to live, how to sign up for a doctor, how to get a job, etc) so I was hoping to fill that void with my blog.
1. How long have you been living in London?
2 1/2 years, I’ve been in London since August 2008. Have been loving it ever since.
2. Where do you live?
I live in Fulham which is next to Chelsea.
3. What brought you to London?
My mother is British and so I have family here. When I would visit them as a child, I totally fell in love with the city. I then had a bit of a quarter life crisis at 25 and decided to move here. Best. Decision. Ever!
4. Why did you decide to study in London, do you think the education system is better or you wanted a change of scenery?
Although I went to college in the US, I did consider going to school here. I thought it would be exciting to live here but didn’t like the idea of only being able to go home once a year.
5. What do you miss about NY?
I’m originally from Maryland (Prince George’s county!). But I do miss the buzz of New York City, the fashion and bagels!
6. What do you love about London?
I love the diversity of the people living here. I have friends that are from New Zealand, South Africa, India and Germany. I also like the overall vibe of the city. No matter what you’re into, you can pretty much find people here who are interested in the same thing. It’s also a bit of a slower pace then NY which can be nice at times.
7. If there is a dose of New York you would like to inject into London, what would it be?
24 hour subway! Currently the Tube shuts down at 12:30 am. But most people are just hitting the clubs at that time. While the buses do run throughout the night, I’d really prefer that it didn’t take 2 hours to get home after a long night of partying!
8. What are the main cultural differences you have noticed between Londoners and New Yorkers?
I think New Yorkers are more outspoken whereas Londoners are reserved by comparison. For instance, if someone bumps into you and doesn’t excuse themselves, the average New Yorker is going to call them out. Whereas, the average Londoner will just apologize (even though it wasn’t their fault!) and quietly fume.
9. What things do you do, say or have adopted now that you live in London?
I’ve definitely adopted several British words such as “mobile” instead of “cell phone” and “rubbish” instead of “trash”. I also apparently say “proper” a lot. For example, “Oh that’s like a proper shopping mall.”
10. What inspires you?
I’m inspired by anyone who stands up for what they believe in and is willing to fight for it. I think that’s really important and something that more people should do.
11. Complete this sentence, ‘You know you’re a Londoner when…’
You exactly where to position yourself on the Tube for your stop so that you can easily walk to your exit.
12. Survival tip to living in London?
If you’re new in the city, the best way to make friends is by using social networks like Meetup.com or Yelp.com. That’s how I’ve met every friend that I currently have.
If you are an American living in London or planning to, visit www.afy-online.com for tips and resources.