Metropolis

19 April 2011

South London, UK

Don’t ask me what I’ve been doing for the past four hours, as you would be asking the wrong person. In fact, apart from having a well-needed shower (pints spill easily) in a yet another new place I’m staying in, I don’t know what I’ve done at all today.

I’m heading on a train to Victoria station from yet another area of London. It is now that I realise, as I pass over the River Thames, that I was passing over the centre of what is a metropolis; or perhaps the closest thing we’ve got to one. That is, London is like a whole country, separate from the country in which it resides. I don’t know how long it’s been like this for, nor for how long it’s going to be like this, but for the time being, there is everything here.

Of course, there are exceptions, though I can’t think of any place that ticks as many boxes as London does. You can get anywhere in Europe, Africa and the US really easily. Too easily, almost, as the fact that one can hop on a train, plane, bus, ferry or car this easily, you find that people think “oh yeah, I can do that… when I want to or have the time”, but never get around to doing it. It’s postponing that extra little bit of exercise that you never get around to doing. Any type of food you want from anywhere, authentically done, and it’ll be somewhere that will take less than one hour to get to on the ever-expanding London Underground. For outdoors, London has some of the nicest parks I’ve ever seen. For really nice outdoors, get on a train or plane to France, the Lake District in North England or Spain; it will take you no more than 3 hours for the nicest in the world. They are on the doorstep. Exercise? The National Marathon isn’t held in a forest somewhere, it’s held in London every April. Meeting people? Really Australian Australians? Sri Lankans? Danes? Africans (from many countries)? This is a list of the people who I have never spent proper time with until I got to London. Yes, even the really Australian Australians who talked about fishing, the types of sharks that they deem to be dangerous or not in the surf, alongside their “fuckin’ crazy mates” who paddled out over 400 metres, broke glasses with golf clubs and pushed over hills and cliffs in wheelbarrows. In London.

With all this ranting and raving, even I am surprised that I don’t want to live here for an extended period of time.Why aren’t I one of the millions there now? You see all these things all the time, but it’s all diluted, and never quite the same as the real thing. It’s the pharmacy with all the medicines, but in no where near the doses that are suitable for treating the real condition of life.

“So what about London’s own medicine? Surely that appeals to the side that makes someone want to change their life!”

Now that–that doesn’t exist. London doesn’t make its own medicine. You can get a very unique cocktail, that is incredible in its own way–I highly recommend it. It’s not something I would live off.

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