I had a complicated introduction to this city when I first set foot here a little over a year ago. This was right as the vote for Brexit was happening and it was a really tense time to be in London. I was also here as a tourist, and this time I had come very specifically for study purposes – and I really started to see what people love so much about London. It feels so alive and everywhere in the city there is something happening. I suppose if that’s what you want in a city then London is certainly the place to be. I must say here that it has a similar vibe to Sydney city in the general pace of the city centre and overall size / distance between different regions of the city. It’s better managed but peak hour can be equally as painful.
It was so fantastic coming to this city with a purpose other than tourism. I hadn’t really planned the last trip here so well – I just wanted to see London and that I did. But how I saw it, in what light, from what perspective… these were things I hadn’t thought about. Here, any time free was well spent and with both people I knew from before arriving in the city and people I met while studying here. It was really wonderful!
London is certainly a city with a big personality. I was so swept away with its presence this time around and it is a city I would really like to return to again soon. I know this will sound really strange, but I still find it weird to be in a European city where the first language is English. That still gave me a little culture shock. These cities around Europe each have their own complex histories, divides and baggage fused together with the way that they approach the present.
I’m starting to realise that the present is an ongoing ‘problem’ to any epoch – slowly it becomes the past and we forget about these tensions and divides. These were thoughts that sat in the back of my mind after visiting three major cities in under a week (not recommended more than once a year!) – the present seems to be a problem until it becomes the past… then it’s another marker in history. The people I met during this trip each had their own wonderful stories to share and perspectives on the life and entity that is London. It was fantastic – and next time I must go beyond the major city as well!
Short snaps taken during a fantastic and music filled weekend in London; November 2017