Monday, November 3, 2008

Canadian Spotting & Tube Travel in London

It's my first day back in the London office, so I thought I'd share a few things with you about my journey.

I am staying at Earl's Court because I found a fabulous deal on Hotwire for a Holiday Inn for only 20 pounds/night. It's usually 100 pounds at this time of year. Earl's Court is considered Central London and the UK office is at Oxford Circus, right in the centre of London. It should have only taken about 20-30 minutes on the tube. It took an hour & a half. Oh London! The reason? Someone under the train at Oxford Circus.

Sadly, this is normal here. It's terrible, and terribly irritating for all the Monday morning workers trying to get anywhere in London on time. People are very used to delays on the underground, so it's not usually a big deal to be late because of train troubles. Teachers usually leave home around 6:30 or 7:00 am so they make it to school on time (most travel in London is about an hour or an hour and a half to get anywhere in the city).

While waiting in the train I got to thinking about Canadian teachers and how to spot them on the tube. It's a funny little game I play with myself. There are so few Canadians here compared to every other culture represented in London. It's very difficult to spot us!

Here's how I try to spot a Canadian on the tube:
  • Canadians often carry Nalgene bottles
  • MEC gear, whether it be clothing or backpacks or hand bags
  • Canadian flag on their MEC backback
  • sensible shoes
  • Roots clothing

Now, sensible shoes could really be anyone, so I know that one seems a bit silly. As a Canadian who spends part of my life in London, my feet really have to adjust every time I come here. In Victoria, I never wear high heels and certainly not to go shopping or teaching! But here, it's heels every day. It's just that most women in London wear them, so I feel underdressed if I am in my flats. Most of my teachers wouldn't wear heels to teach, but I'm never surprised if they start to change that after a year of being here.

When I spot a Canadian on the tube, I have to say hello. It's rare, but keeps me entertained anyway! We are a friendly bunch after all. Do you have any ways to spot a Canadian that I haven't mentioned?


  1. Lululemon of course!! When I was travelling around England last summer I felt VERY sporty because of my lulus, even though I'm not really that athletic. Everyone else was much more "chic" than me though!

  2. Of course! Can't believe I forgot the Lulu's!!! My teachers are always in theirs, and I can't help but giggle because of the exact reason you mentioned. Londoners shudder at the idea of wearing your yoga pants outside the house, but for Canadians it's a fashionable item. Love it!


Thanks for sharing your two pence!


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