Thursday, May 15, 2014

Through The Looking Glass

The trip so far has been amazing!!!! It has been the most exciting adventure I have had in my life so far and I am so happy to have such great friends to spend it with. We are four days through and I am ready to stay here. I can definitely see myself coming here in the future and staying possibly for a long time. It has also been very eye opening and almost like stepping through the looking glass into another world. They are so different and yet similar at the same time. You notice these differences everywhere you look.
One thing I noticed was the bathrooms. They have no hand towels and only air dryers in the public toilets. This has lead me to notice that a lot of advertisements have been for more eco-friendly items. Although they have a lot more vehicles they use much more fuel efficient vehicles. Another thing I noticed was in the media. Micheal Jackson is very big here in the U.K., they play his music int eh stores a lot and his show is still ongoing. My friends and I discussed that this may be due to the fact that the negative coverage of him that we have heard only reached local areas in the U.S. Micheal's negative reputation is well known throughout the U.S. but because his actions were not in the U.K. they were not exposed to that side of him. The numbers here are also different. They used standard military time for everything and the measurement scales are in meters rather than miles.
Since I am here for a criminal justice program we have gone on many tours already of police stations, court houses, and even got to experience some of the training that the officers go through. I have noticed that the justice system is very different here. The police give off a much more positive vibe and really are here for the people. The police do not carry guns and do everything they can to calm down a situation and protect the public. The second night we were here, we visited a police station and an officer was sitting outside a cell with a drunken man asleep inside the cell. The officer was watching him so that he would be ok and that he would not be hurt until he had time to sober up enough to not injure himself. The police are very kind and considerate of the public and want to protect and serve everyone. This is a very different idea than in the U.S. Although the U.S. police are supposed to protect and serve they are portrayed as much more violent. I know some very kind officers in the U.S. but there are also many who would shoot first and ask later. I think their main idea is to stop criminals rather than to protect the public. Their mind set is to stop the bad people when they should be focused on calming them down and trying to help them. Obviously some people will harm you back but I think we should not assume everyone is dangerous and start trying to encourage limited force and take policing from a more positive view and becoming the peoples police.
Our countries are very different and yet they get along very well. They are both great countries and I am very lucky to get to be a part of both for the time being. As long as I watch out for the cars driving on the wrong side of the street I should be fine. It has been great so far and I am excited for tomorrow because we are going on the Warner Brothers Studio Tour of the Harry Potter set and they off to see Big Ben and the London Eye. After that we will check out a ride called the London Dungeon. I am very excited and am sure I will enjoy the rest of my trip. I hope you all are enjoying it with me.

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