Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Things I love about living in London


I was inspired to write this after reading the above post. I love Colombo and I love London. The thing is I can't imagine living anywhere other than London.

I don't even go into the centre of London very often, maybe once every few weeks or so. I suppose I have more contact with "town" than many as my company has most of its customers there and I spend a vast amount of my working hours dealing with customers and drivers who are smack bang in the middle of the metropolis.

There is a buzz about London. It's more than the normal buzz of a capital city. I have spent time in a few capitals and the only one I have been in that compares to London is Paris. Unbelievably, I haven't been to New York yet but I have a feeling that I will fall in love with it as soon as I arrive.

Things I love about London:

  • The sheer size of it. I only fully appreciate this when I am in a plane coming in to Heathrow. On a clear day you get to see the whole of London and get an idea of its vastness. It is simply massive. It looks imposing, unfriendly and dangerous. It often is.

  • The people. As a rule Londoners are not friendly people. We just put our heads down and get on with our own thing. But, in the event of a crisis like the July 7 bombings, Londoners are transformed into the best people on earth. The British can be reserved and Londoners are particularly so. I have seen traffic incidents in Colombo and they are usually surrounded by a fairly large crowd of onlookers. Here in London people look to check if there is an injury or if anyone needs help and, if the answer is no, they get on with their own thing.

  • The diversity. There are people, shops, food and communities of every nationality on Earth in London. I can walk into my local Tesco and listen to someone talking Sinhalese or Tamil or Polish. It's a bit academic for me as I don't understand any of them, but you probably get my point.

  • The shops. I am one of those rare blokes that actually likes shopping. Not in a girl's way. I don't spend ages choosing something only to never wear it because I once saw someone I don't like wearing it at a wedding. I just buy things, quickly and without fuss. I sometimes try them on if they are clothes, but I can't deny that I like the act of wandering around and buying things. London has every type of shop imaginable, then some more. There is never a feeling of not being able to get something. If it exists it can be bought in London.

  • Cars. I like cars and driving and in London there is always a plentiful supply of the world's top cars to look at. You can walk around central London and see just about any car you desire, often driven by someone famous. From Ferrari Dinos (my all time favourite car) to Porsche Cayennes (Ugh!) you can see them here.

  • The architecture. London is home to some of the most aesthetically pleasing buildings anywhere in the world. From the Natural History museum to the Gherkin, the range is huge and diverse and always a joy to see.

  • Finally - That Feeling. Living here gives one a feeling of living in the centre of the world. As if we live in the very heart of everything. I always think that we have "first" viewings of fashion, music, consumer items, anything really. I guess New Yorkers, Parisians and maybe some others feel the same way about their respective cities. I would love to know what other people from feel about this. I am sure there is a viewpoint that with TV, the internet and information technology so readily available in most parts of the world, location is far less important than it used to be if you want to keep informed and up to date.

  • The music scene. All the top bands play in London and many of the artists live here. We have an incredible range of live music available on a nightly basis. From small pubs and clubs to stadiums, the venues are everywhere and one could easily go out every night and see great music.

So that's it really. I get so much enjoyment I get from other cities, Colombo in particular. I adore its ambience. Strolling around Galle Face Green on a Sunday evening, the noise and smell of Galle Road, the sparkling Elasto advert at the Bullers Road junction that has been there as long as I can remember. It's a bit less sparkly now and largely covered up by merchandise for sale but it was there a few months ago. But every time I go somewhere, after a few weeks I catch myself missing London.

I guess that's why I call it home.


anush wij said...

ah, london. We have a pretty crazy love affair, London and I. Ever since I visited it in '93, and again came to UCL a few yrs ago I've loved every minute of being in London. The places to go to, the entertainment, the variety of people....I just can't get enough of it. It amazes me how much there is to see in London. I could visit all the places listed in the Travel Guides, and yet there would be a host of unseen, personally-unexplored places for me to check out. Oh, and the live gigs are brillaint. Whether its down my Camden road at Kokos or at Wembley Arena, London has the best gigs. London is almost narcotic for me! Couldn't imagine going to uni in any city better than this!

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

Thanks for your comment Anush. It's good to hear you enjoy London!


savi3 said...

i'm a huge London fan as well having lived there for 7 yrs.. 6 of them at University in the WC1 area.. London has grown on me since & whenever I travel abroad and return to heathrow i always feel like i've come back home..and i appreciate London even more now that I live in the West Country which is beautiful but a total contrast to the buzz of the city. what do i miss most abt London? has to be the theatre but i also miss a million other things mainly to do with food/drink/shopping and the weekends in Kensington & long walks in Hyde Park with 'him' ;) i guess London is special cos i hv so many good memories. Paris was ok and so was NYC when i visited as a tourist but I wouldn't want to live in either city.. Rome on the other hand definite maybe but for me London RULES !!

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

It can't be beaten! Are you settled in the uk then?

savi3 said...

yup after 12 yrs they finally gave me my passport :)

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

Congratulations! If you're in London look me up. Or email me. Or phone. Or write. Thanks for reading.

savi3 said...

definitely. what's ur email addy?

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

I think you should be able to see that on your blog, I left a comment or 2. If not let me know, I am just not keen on putting up here for all to see.


savi3 said...

hehe i think ur confusing me with someone else.. i don't hv a blog. there is someone called savi who has a blog but it's not ME. u can reach me at quackchicken@yahoo.com.

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

savi3 - I'm sorry I was getting mixed up, I thought you were someone else.

S said...

Savi3 is a dudette - meet up with her!

Am totally agreed with you on the London/NY/Colombo thing - why move elsewhere when all they get is our leftovers?