Topics include Transportation, United Kingdom: For Foreign Visitors & more!
Some years ago, when still an active member of the Military (Marine Corps to be exact), finding ourselves ported (and spending time) in London. First (earlier) experiences there were notably something LESS than had been anticipated and/or hoped-for... in civilian clothing, being treated as that "Ugly American." Receiving cold shoulders and warm beer; hardly bargains, and only fiscal attention. It was depressing to say the least.
Deciding to close-out that evening with fellow Marines at the base club, sharing some cold ale and a multitude of stories, experiences, and recommendations. One of those came from a Corporal that had been stationed there for a couple of years then, recommending to "hit the town," but "wear dress uniforms," which was contrary to personal opinions in-that whenever away from the military lifestyle/environment, it was preferred to simply blend into, not stand-out in the "civilian world."
Be that as it may, that next night a visit was made to "the ville" (town) in "Green Alphas" (dress uniform), and to much surprise became a completely different experience. With invites into virtually everywhere, and in many cases drinks bought and had everyone's company (and conversation) given full attention. It was a completely different London, a completely different experience. Told by some of the locals themselves that they (still) appreciated the American military and (still) remember the efforts from many years earlier; and it showed in how the treatment; that they got tired of the boastfulness of many "civilian" Americans that they see every day, but respected its military members.
Finally, and quite unfortunately, in an attempt to be more current, because of the way the world has been (and continues to) change, the outward presentation of either being from the States and/or having military affiliation/association has been tamped-down -for security reasons. It is, however, still relevant that (true) Londoners still hold true to their appreciation of the military, and its members.