I didn’t like London.
There. I’ve said it. I know everyone’s just in love with the city, its life and people. I tried and I will try again, but I cannot say London enchanted me.
Probably it’s because I had so little time there (two days, in fact this won’t be my last visit of course), but then again I’m not giving a final judgement of the whole city, just explaining my general feeling and giving my first impression. I shall also add that I arrived in London after a week in Scotland, so I was pretty much in a “fuck the English” (read with Scottish accent) mood.
Done all the due premises, now it’s time for me to explain to you why I didn’t have that “click” with the English capital.
#1 People everywhere.
Now, don’t misunderstand me, but there’s someone in every single corner of every single street. I felt sorrounded, not having my space to think and relax.
#2 Rushing, rushing, rushing. Where to, I ask?
I feel a real philosophy student about this, sorry. But everyone’s just rushing. I was sorrounded by people hurrying, probably to get to work. It felt senseless, like people running like hamsters on the wheel. An infinite procession of automatons.
#3 So international. But is it?
Maybe I just haven’t the required skills to feel it, but I couldn’t get the London atmosphere. You know the “YEEAH we’re in London, so international!!!”. Nope. Of course it’s international, but I felt like its internationality wasn’t a “meeting of cultures”, but rather a commingling resulting in a globalised culture which turns out to be a non-culture.
#4 Historical sites.
I LOVE art and history. I’m Italian, so I’m probably spoiled by the condition of most of our cities (that is, it seems to jump in the past), but it’s really sad for me seeing an historical building or site ruined by a brand new shop just under or next to it. In this way it hasn’t the deserved room letting the visitor to enjoy and contemplate it.
Overall London seemed to me like a fake, ad hoc built city. It reminded me Orwell’s 1984. I’m sure London’s plenty of opportunities, especially for what concerns economy, but it’s just not my cup of tea. I could work there for a bit, but I don’t think I could ever live there. It felt souless, so international to lose his own identity.
But then again, this was my first impression. Maybe I’ll grow to love it.. or not. Everyone’s different after all.