I come from a town of small proportions so I am used to urban areas of a certain size. I like how compact everything is, and particularly the low volume of human beings that never seem to get in my way or are just ‘there’.
So when I have to travel to any city I’m full of dread, there are very few I can tolerate (San Francisco and New York) but one sprawling mass is at the bottom of my list,I keep getting made to go by work, and for anyone who has read the title of this post it will not come as a surprise…
Before any Lah’daners get their pearly queens in a twist it’s not the locals I have particular issue with. After all I have a problem with most people. Individually they are great people, it’s just that there are so many of them. Whether it’s a native Londoner or one of the many who have moved there, it’s just too many people for a city that has been designed to hold a lot less.
The streets are too narrow, the roads too windy and public gathering spaces too small. It’s an old city that has not been widened to accommodate the increase in people (and their ever expanding girth).
Walking around London is like being in a sisyphean task that is designed to push you further from your destination the harder you try. Navigating around the streets is akin to being in a hot air balloon, you just have to go where the currents take you. This is why I find it better to go one station further than is required on the tube to let the human flow take you downtown.
Paved with Gold
Having to go to the big smoke for work, another bugbear of mine. Why is it that all big companies and agencies insist on being in the big city bubble. Places like London are exempt from what the real world is like, yet this is where decisions about what the 90% who live outside of the M25 want are made. This is why politicians and the media have problems understanding those in the shires who have no interest in Boris Bikes or the latest penile shaped building.
Mrs G’s cousin came over from the US of A and went to London a few times to get everything seen. This is the one of the great lies about all big cities, that you can never see everything in just one visit. Get on a hop off tourist bus and you can pretty much see all the sights. Parliament, Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace are all within walking distance of each other and can easily be done before elevenses. Tower of London in the afternoon and then you start to struggle for must see locations. The rest is just filler, or museums. Will you get to see every building or try all the “must eats”? Of course not, but then I doubt many of the locals have either so it’s not entirely essential.
London prides itself as a world city, so here you go world my gift to you. Take it home with you, put it on your mantlepiece. All it means is less politicians and less people who say “yah”, I shall not mourn.