Postcards of London in 1969.
Before I left Thailand in November 1969, I purchased “Fodor’s Europe on $5 Per Day” and was able to find cheap accommodations, restaurants, and transportation in Europe by following directions and tips in that travel book.
My first stop after leaving Bangkok was London. I rented a room in a cheap student hostel, sharing it with a female law student from Argentina. She stayed only one night, so after she left, I had the room to myself. Since it was cold during early November, I had to push coins into a grate in the floor to heat the room. In the morning, I deposited my small suitcase at the front desk and in the evening, I retrieved the suitcase to take to my room.
I noticed that the English women in London were very stylish with their beautifully tailored winter coats and small hats perched on top of their head. They wore lipstick, eye makeup and had a flawless peaches and cream complexion. These women were neither students nor tourists. They looked like they worked in an office or some place that was clean, definitely not a factory.
The women in Paris were also very stylish. They did not wear hats like the English women, but did wear long coats, leather boots that reached their knees, and most of them had long dark hair that flowed in the breeze. They looked slim and beautiful as they strode up the sidewalks of the Left Bank, where I stayed in a small rooming house on a side street.
But, unlike the women in London and Paris, the Bavarian women in Munich were not fashionable at all. They tended to be obese and wore practical, functional clothes and boots with no sense of style. They were very rude, too, elbowing me at the bus stop and forcing me to let them board the bus first, even though I was first in line. Grrrr. That was an unpleasant experience.
I would have loved to reside in London, because the weather was ideal and the English language was my native tongue (though I do have an American accent). But, an official at the airport warned me that I was not permitted to look for a job in England, because I was there as a tourist and nothing more. That was unfortunate, because of all the European countries I visited (England, France, Switzerland, Italy, and Germany) in 1969-1970, I liked England the most.
Perhaps, things have changed since then…