Some encounters can change a lifetime, whether it is a person, a place, an experience. London troubled my senses and will be forever part of my memories. But the same way it can take time for some friendship or love stories to take shape and reach a “serious stage”, the way I feel about London did not happen effortlessly.
The first time I came to London, I was around 12. Our English teacher was brave enough to embark across the Channel with a group of over excited teenagers. What I remember from this visit was: the 99 ice creams, Top Shop from Oxford Street, and the Speakers corner in Hyde Park. I cannot recall if the superficiality of my memories was due to a lack of attention (too busy flirting at the back of the bus), or if it is because we only spent half a day in the city. I do not think one would be able to clarify this mystery but I can live with it. 🙂
9 years after this expedition, my mum and family offered me a 5 days trip to London. I will always recall I cried when opening the envelop and founding about the present.
This second trip to London was great. Despite being panicked at the idea of speaking English with TRUE native speakers, I very much enjoyed the city and to finally explore it as it should be: Feeling the magic of Covent Garden, feeding squirrels in Hyde Park, walking in the colourful streets of Camden town and getting lost in Stable Market. Going to check Harrods’, stopping at Notting Hill gate, walking along the mall to see Westminster, saying hi to Big Ben, singing “Dancing Queen” during the Mama Mia show in Leicester Square… At that point I did not know this would be the beginning of an everlasting passion for this city.
3 years later, I was given the opportunity to work and live in London. This time was the one.
London is the city where I fell truly madly deeply in love, and in that same city, I also learnt that love and growing up hurt even more than what an early 20’s year old would think,
London is the city where people in the Tube do not give you the death look if you stumble upon them as you lose balance when the train moves,
London is the city where people know how to party hard: dancing all night, laughing out loud, drinking too much, feeling alive,
London is a city where streets are noisy, where people regroup in front of the pubs as soon as nice days are back, drinking Pimm’s from time to time,
London is city where you can hear English spoken with 10 different accents, making it an international but somehow exotic place to hang out,
London is the city where buses are red, cabs are black, and parks yellow when daffodils suddenly spring in April…
London is a city where being different can set itself as a “way of life, “
London is the city where one still feel the effervescence of the 70’s and 80’s when rock bands were true ambassadors of sex drugs and rock’n roll…
London is the only city that makes my heart beats faster as soon as I my feet touch its ground,
London is a city that made me grow up, the city which taught me what love and life are about,
London rocked my life. London is a king of magic.There can be only one…
Credit and copy rights for the pictures are mine,