OBSERVATIONS AFTER 4 DAYS IN LONDON

Just returned from a work trip to London, my first time there since 1999.
  1. Since the notion of engaging with a different currency was apparently too much for me to handle, I usually just used the tipping strategy of handing a cab driver the first British bill I could find in my wallet after paying my fare, which resulted in my ~wildly~ overtipping everyone.
    One driver got a 60 percent tip from me, my friend later informed me.
  2. British tabloids are really, really great. Check out this subhed for a "hot men" section.
    Love that "in pants" is touted as this super sexy attribute
  3. And revel in this section devoted to animal renderings of celebrities.
    Yes, bottom right is Beyoncé-as-squirrel
  4. Not sure why, but being in London really made me want to take bland photos of, like, unremarkable trees and clouds.
  5. One of the more disconcerting feelings I've ever experienced was walking into a Pret A Manger and finding that all the sandwiches were completely different British concoctions (like, Toad's Egg Mixed With Marmalade, or whatever) with no relation to the American offerings at all. No balsamic chicken avocado sandwich to be found!
  6. British teens are astoundingly cool. Every single one of them looked like Sienna Miller's Younger Sister Going Through A Rebel Phase.
  7. One bartender just straight up cackled when my co-worker and I walked up to the bar and asked for margaritas, holding up our credit cards. "Oh, Americans," is all she said by way of explanation.
    I asked her where she thought we were from and she said, "New York, obviously," and even though I think she was mocking us, I felt sort of .... proud that it was that obvious?
  8. I caught myself inadvertently saying "How far is that from here?" in a slight British accent to a concierge at our hotel, and the concierge didn't flinch but I felt *extremely* shameful about it afterwards