As I arrived at the busiest and largest airport in the UK, the London Heathrow airport (Barrow, 2013), I became fascinated with the vehicles and buses transporting passengers from the airport to their destinations. One spectacular form of transportation is known as the “black cab.” From its name, one can infer that it is often black; although I did discover one that was green.
The Black Cab
My interaction with a friend who picked me up at the airport revealed that the drivers of these “traditional taxis” are required to acquire license, before they are allowed to drive such cabs. I thought that was essential, considering that the black cab is one of the trademarks of the UK.
However, I was shocked to discover that it took them three to four years to acquire this license. The transportation sector must be valuable to the UK economy and the government!
Three years is equivalent to gaining a university degree and so, I became curious to learn what they were being taught. It turned out that the first step was to gain knowledge of London – the map of the entire city and direct routes to several destinations (Beetlestone, 2012). Those who would be certified, must master all of these information by heart http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/dec/09/history-london-black-cabs. Such value!
Too distracted with the vast array of buses, I walked confidently towards the right side of my friend’s car to enter into the passenger’s seat, only to discover the steering wheel. My first thought was that I did not see this in my country analysis!
Home away from home
As we drove along the roads that seemed smaller than those in the US, I observed the old brick buildings, some of which have existed for more than 50 years. Right then, I realized that London is a historical city that emphasized its rich cultural heritage.
Being from Nigeria, I felt at home in this society I was experiencing for the first time. The city appreciated culture and history, it had buildings made of brick and of course, the sockets were like that of my country. It felt like home!
I was ready to explore! Here is a sneak peek into some of the treasures I found.
Barrow, M. (2013). Types of transport in Britain. Project Britain. Retrieved from http://resources.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/customs/questions/transport.html
Beetlestone, I. (2012 December 9). The history of London’s black cabs. The Guardian. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/dec/09/history-london-black-cabs