La Clusaz vs London

Apologies for not writing sooner: I’ve been working in London recently. And boy, have I noticed the differences between London and La Clusaz. They might begin with the same letter of the alphabet, but they’re at opposite ends of the scale for population, cleanliness and food. Upon arrival at Gatwick Airport, I bought a bottle of water. The guy who served me wiped his snotty nose with the back of his hand, then touched my water to scan it without any sort of greeting, then sneezed without covering his mouth before handing me my change. Okay, it wasn’t a great start to my trip to London, particularly considering the swine flu concerns in the media, but it can only get better, right?

Not so. I was slightly bolstered with a Krispy Kreme donut — something impossible to find in La Clusaz. The happiness incited by the tasty treat was as short-lived as the donut thanks to the bus journey to my accommodation. A man was wandering around the bustling bus stop, ranting about the Polish and the Russians and “people!” in general. He walked up and down constantly, and I was glad when my bus arrived. Unfortunately, he was waiting for the same bus. For the entire journey, he shouted things such as: “When I’m alright, you’re alright, but when I’m not alright, I want to KILL, and I’m NOT ALRIGHT right now.”

Things did improve however, when I realised how technologically advanced London is. Not only can you top up your mobile phone credit at any cash machine, but you can use your mobile phone to pay precisely for just the time you spend in a parking spot, saving you any money lost to overestimating your stay on the old coin-printed style of ticket. I felt like a complete country bumpkin at my own surprise at these technologies. That, however, was days ago, and after a quick trip to Cambridge, I’m now in Brighton. There’s a whole separate blog entry right there! I do miss France and patisseries, but what’s not to love about fry-ups and Cheddar cheese.


I’m a technical author, journalist and writer from Australia who has been living in Europe since 2000 and exploring the world from there. My passions are writing, snow sports and travel.

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3 comments on “La Clusaz vs London
  1. I almost sank to my knees and kissed the airport tarmac when I arrived back in France after spending Christmas in England this year. I think I’ve lived here too long to cope with the Uk on a longterm basis ! Can there be a worse place than Tescos in the week before Christmas? Even Cambridge seemed like a foreign metropolis…. I expect it’s quieter now, so enjoy!

  2. April says:

    Actually, I’ve used this as a shopping trip quite well, so I feel like my time spent here has worked out nicely, although I am of course looking forward to coming back to France soon.

  3. Geoff says:

    That really reminds of the short story you had published on the web…

    Britain can be very gross, but I still like the beer, you can’t get it anywhere else!

About me

Wendy Hollands writer in Annecy, France

I'm an experienced technical writer based in the French Alps. I enjoy learning French language nuances, winter sports and travel. Drop by, my other site.

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