London, From the Eyes of a Brummie!
Samuel Johnson famously said: “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.”
A wise sentiment indeed and arguably one that can apply to any newcomer to the capital. Since re-locating from the Midlands to London, there are certain things that I have noticed which baffle me, but also add to the uniqueness that make up this crazy place.
Strange things include:
- No one talks to anyone else on the Tube or makes eye contact; this is UNHEARD of on Midlands’s trains where Brummies talk loudly and often to total strangers.
- In London, people genuinely seem to enjoy exercise and use the parks for running as opposed to drinking cider. Hard-core runners sometimes have a heavy backpack in tow which begs the question: why make exercise more punishing for yourself than it already is?
- Rushing around is compulsory, even if you’re not in a hurry. Ditto tutting loudly with fellow commuters when a coach load of tourists invade your Tube carriage.
Certainly there are some aspects of London life that are strange and require some getting used to, but I can also say with absolute certainty that this is the best city in the world.
Last weekend for example, my university friend came to visit. A fellow Brummie and foodie enthusiast, we headed to Brixton Market and sampled some of the amazing culinary delights the famous South London venue had to offer, before heading to Brick Lane in East London, home to hipsters and vintage clothing shops. We had a great day and both concluded that whatever you fancy doing, London has something to offer.
To end with a quote from Charlotte Bronte which particularly resonates: “I like the spirit of this great London which I feel around me. Who but a coward would pass his whole life in hamlets; and for ever abandon his faculties to the eating rust of obscurity?”
Moving from my hamlet and swapping farm animal neighbours for streets crowded with people is a shock to the system, but do I regret it? Not in the slightest. Would I encourage other young country dwellers to up sticks and head to the city as well? Most definitely!