Wednesday, May 27, 2009

London is...

    With my oversized backpack and stuffed carry-on I travelled to London. I did not know what to expect. All anyone ever really told me was that the weather was terrible and I need to be prepared. So, I came with too many outfits looking for adventure and looking to discover the gems that lie under the fog and rainclouds.
    You know what? The weather is terrible here. As I walked around the city last night in a dress and scarf, goosebumps covered my body and I shook in the frigid air.
    London is rainy and changeable and gloomy.

Even one of our tour guides had a song about the rainy weather:


    Weather is not all that is bland around here. After ordering several dishes of London food, I realized that the food is pretty boring too--nothing is really satisfying. Food is bland, lifeless, spiceless, and dull. The Fish and chips have never met my expectations since I got here. The dish looks impressive. The fish is huge and the fries look descent, but after taking a few bites, I get bored. The fish taste soon blends with the chips and soon I just feel like I’m eating some type of all potato mash.
    Yesterday I specifically sought out a meal that would be bold. “Where is the excitement in these meals?” I said. I picked up a sandwich called “spicy chicken.” I was ready to be spiced up. Disappointment.
    The meat hit my taste buds with no reaction. Nothing. No spice. No nothing. Bland. Liars.
It is rainy, the food is boring, the days are gray, the living conditions are awful. I’m thinking about all of these things as I am trying to describe to you what London is to me. But, this is not what I’m trying to say.
    See, despite the poor hotdogs and shivery cold, London is the only place I want to be right now. London is my get away and my experience. London is exciting and I despite the boring attributes and the city closing at 11 p.m., London has produced some of my most lively memories of the year.
    As the days and nights go on, the cold is not so frigid. Somehow, blood starts circulating in my legs again and I’m ok. The weather does not seem to matter. I am taken in by the sites and the architecture, the accents and the people, the red buses and the tube.
    I walk and complain about how London should learn a few lessons from New York, the city that never sleeps—but, at the same time, I proclaim a love for London that I could not for the Big Apple.

    I walk around this city and hear people with accents from all over Europe. Today, I spoke with the man that works at the front desk of my dorm complex. He is half French and half Italian. His unusual accent captures me as he tells me of his love of Paris but his hate for Persians.
London has swept over me and drowned me in a culture I’ve never known. In the rainy mist and quiet bustle, there are flickers of light and explosions of excitement.
    These sources of joy are different than what I am used too, but make life here all the more incredible.
    I sit in a pub and smile at the site of a bar full of men in suits and well-dressed women. This is not the American sports bar with obnoxious grungy people looking for some intoxicating feelings. London is proper. It knows how to look sharp. It knows how to act. It knows how to carry itself.
   London closes at 11 p.m. but maybe for good reason. Maybe it is just trying to be responsible.
    As for the fish and chips, I still think London may need to understand that spicing up your life really isn’t that dangerous.
   Anyway, the food needs a little improvement before I come back.


  1. London really doesn't close at 11 pm to be honest. You guys need to go to Soho. It doesn't close early. Chelsea does, and pubs do, but Soho, Piccadilly and Leicester Square don't. You guys should try it out.

  2. By the way, love the honesty and the juxtaposition between your two thoughts. You're being honest in your writing, and it works beautifully.