Friday, February 10, 2012

Londoners pt1

For Chrimbo Adam gave me a book called "Londoners. The days & nights of London now - as told by those who love it, hate it, live it, left it & long for it" by Craig Taylor. After reading the introduction & before reading any more I decided I'd think about what London & being a Londoner means to me. Even though I picked out bullet points I still got a bit carried away so I'll spread it over a few posts so here goes part 1, I'll start with the one thing that I think of straight away when someone says London to me:
~ the tube is a huge part of London life. It's about sitting on a train for an hour & not knowing what any one's face looks like only their shoes, panic attacks when the train gets stuck in a tunnel without explanation, keeping left, standing on the right spot on a platform so you'll be in front of the doors when they open & also so when you get off you'll be at the exit to the station - even if that exit says no entry but you know it gets you to the escalator quicker than going the right way, arm rest wars, shouting at people who won't move for you to get off the train before they barge on, not thinking twice about commuting or travelling to a party that's 1hr30 or 2hrs away & using the journey time for reading, playing games or catching up on sleep, finding out on your way that a route's closed & knowing a few different alternatives straight away without the aide of a map. It's also about being on the lookout for someone handing out a Stylist on a Wednesday & Shortlist on a Thursday.
~ the city never sleeps it doesn't matter if you're at Leicester Square at 3am or 3pm it'll be just as busy. Saying that though nights out generally stop in time for the last tube (about midnight) unless you're on a jive night out which usually involves going for a coffee somewhere in soho about 4am! If this is the case you're then faced with the joys of the nightbus home, those 24hr wonders. Sometimes you'll have a great journey home joining in a sing-a-long of "the wheels on the bus" with all the random drunkards, sometimes you'll sleep & other times you'll join in tutting/huffing at someone who's having an argument with the driver about the money on their oyster card.
~ money's always tight. I've pretty much gone tea-total cos I can only afford soft drinks, whetherspoons becomes your go-to pub, I label all my money with post-it notes so I know what to spend & where in my attempt to budget.
~ London's in it's own time warp that moves twice as fast as anywhere else in the world. I really don't know where time goes. You get up so early & return home so late you have no time to yourselves during the week & so the weekends get filled up with everything that would normally have been spread out over the week anywhere else. Also try as you might you can't walk slowly here! If you're not in a rush try & make a conscious effort to slow down, I can guarantee that within seconds you'll be hustling past crowds, walking not standing on the escalators & huffing at dawdlers.
~ when you live in London I think you tend to forget what a fab place you're in, so full of history & culture. I try to make sure I take in exactly what it is I'm walking past cos otherwise it's very easy to walk past Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace or St Paul's Cathedral without thinking twice. Sure I miss the views of the countryside but while I enjoy city life Hyde Park, Green Park, Kew Gardens, etc will do for me.
Are you still awake?! That's the end of my first post & I'll post the second half next week (bet you can't wait?! :P)
Ttfn x


AJP said...

Very insightful. Still glad I only visit. Buskers on the tubes alwys make me laugh

Magical Day Dream said...

So awesome! I have been in London once during a high school excursion and I loved it. The town I live in now pretty much dies at night during week days, I wish it would be a bit more like London in that aspect!



ktpland said...

yeah that was one huge difference between London & my hometown - you can still get a bus after 6:30pm! *shock gasp!* x