About three years ago I was seized with an overwhelming desire to live somewhere else for a new experience. Anywhere that I wouldn’t spend almost two hours every working day in a cramped tube, with a concomitant headache, the awful smell of human’s bodies, the distinctive smell of the coal on which one’s lungs breathlessly feed, the tiny existing space with disturbed people reading over your shoulder in that rolling box. These unavoidable facts, according to me, are the unpleasant beginnings of a new day.
After this ungentle relentless everyday introduction, the painful process of flat hunting and the LOL over-priced renting costs are other matters too miserable for me to be bothered to mention in detail.
If people say that dealing with estate agents in London is a horrible experience, they are polite. You are falling into a shark pool in which you will get bitten one way or another. Eventually, you will find your dream one-bedroom shoebox-sized flat costing over one thousand something pounds – and forget about living in BMW-infested Zone One.
Unlike the rest of England, where in British culture, boasting and self-aggrandisement are extremely unseemly, the narcissist is everywhere in London – yes, I got it, you are successful and can afford a cosmopolitan life in the capital, so what else?
Mistake me not, despair all the irksome features I am still badly in love with the place. Does it sound so contradictory? Indeed, it is possible to be head over heels in love with the wrong person and, with your eyes still open.
I missed those lonely wandering evenings in the unknown streets of East London, admiring all the alternative styles which make no sense to me, but somehow appear interesting and intriguing; the quirky individuals staring at my outfit in the coffee shop, checking out the competition.
I missed Friday night after work, hanging out with friends in China Town for Peking Duck, Korean BBQ and bubble tea. Nights that you were cramped around the crazily crowded tourist areas in Oxford Street and Piccadilly Circus just to stick your nose against the window, mumble the numbers and drool over shit that you can’t afford.
Has anyone told you that summer in London is the best treat for the eyes with “couldn’t be less revealing outfits” girls who lie negligently under the sun in the parks – oh – so many of beautiful parks!
Art – so much of art in any corner of the streets, and the amazing architecture.
Theatre – don’t even go there, Chicago the Musical is a must!
Sometimes, I wonder with an introvert like me, all I ask of life is peace, moderation, kindliness, and the approval of my loved ones. The charming and exciting, energic London was wasted on me. It is like a gold-plated dish of caviar in an exclusive three Michelin star restaurant when a bowl of chicken soup would have served me just as well. In fact, much better.
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