Back from the US, I have a 2 day stopover in London before going to Germany. Today’s the first day back and I had the afternoon to myself before seeing some friends in the evening. I decided to come into Central London. First thing I noticed was the underground tubes; so much cleaner and less noisier and less smellier than the subway in New York or the metro in Boston. Anyone Londoners who complain about our tubes should visit NY if only to appreciate how much better our public transport is here.
After getting off the tube, I walked from the Monument station to the Tower Bridge, along the Thames river, a lunch-time walk I’ve done countless number of times (coz I used to work less than .5 mile away), a walk I’ve always enjoyed. But today it was different, today it was a walk without the stress of having to rush back to work, I didn’t keep looking at my watch to check how much time i have left for lunch. I felt like a tourist today.
I remember falling in love with London the first time I visited from Cardiff and it was that feeling all over again. London is a beautiful and vibrant city. There’s so much to see and do and you’ll always find something you like. There’s always something going on. But what gives London it’s charm is the same thing that makes it a rat race. My friend describes being in London as being in a pressure cooker. I guess I stopped enjoying London after i moved to the city. But after giving up my job and my home here, in short after i stopped calling London my home, and after being away for 6 weeks, the pressure-cooker feeling has begun to ebb and my love for the city is coming back. I love walking aimlessly…for hours, i love watching the street performers in action at the Embankment, I love the wine bars, I love the walks along the river and the umpteen food markets that the foodie in me can never get enough of. London is a classic case of something that is “beautiful from far” but if you get too close it’s “far from beautiful”. I have bad-mouthed London a lot in the last year or so and i apologize for that. I think everyone should visit London atleast once in their lifetime. And if you can handle the rat race (unlike me) then you must experience living here!