I had a problem with London. It never attracted me, never intrigued me. I thought everything was so predictable there.
And that people only think about work and spend 80% of their time under the ground, sleeping, putting on make-up, reading, and figuring out how to get out of London in the underground.
I spent there two weeks two years ago, but I was mostly strolling around one small area, close to the office of Kaplan, by whom I had then been invited to London.
OK, maybe I did change my approach towards the city a little back then, as I discovered Camden Town with its street food from all around the world and strange people walking the streets; I also felt like I was flowing at the city’s pace, not getting lost in the immense crowd, and well, I liked my rides in the double-decker buses. I discovered London thanks to Natalia from Nat w Londynie blog.
Anyway, I wasn’t going to come here with „Travel around the blogs“.
But fate always likes to surprise me, so eventually I did go to London.
Even more than that – I became interested in this city, and I basically felt like I was in a bigger and more colorful Warsaw.
Multiculturality dominates everywhere in the city. I feel like I am at some point on a hiking route that is a cultural and international melting pot. People, shops, products, customs from different parts of the world all intertwine in the space of London.
There’s plenty of Asian shops in there. I can for example enter one Indian shop, and naan bread straight out of the oven is waiting for me.
I prefer to explore cities by walking around them. I was walking 10-15 kilometers a day by foot in London, because spending time underground felt like a waste.
- „How far is this station by foot?” – I ask a man in the street.
- „By foot? Why do you want to walk? You have a bus here!” – he asks me, surprised.
- „I like walking, I get to know the city best that way” – I answer.
- „Oh… well it’s quite far away… 15 minutes by foot.”
- „So close?? Thank you! Have a nice day.”
And so I walked, and the man just stood there, staring at me all confused.
And no, that didn’t happen just once. I had three or four conversations like that.
Always in a hurry and with a watch in hand, London doesn’t have time for walking just for the sake of it; someone is always running to a meeting, to go shopping, to get to work, to come back home.
On the other hand I found the streets where the only person on the street was me. Atmosphere with silence and slow life.
Spring was just beginning, and I just walked and walked, passing by lovely tenement houses, green, atmospheric parks, charity shops.
I stumbled upon a few „workplace” cafes. In London it’s popular and natural to sit in a cafe with a computer in every district, and most cafes offer free wifi.
Working in London cafes, I felt like in the ones in Warsaw. Even Polish language could often be heard behind the counter.
London and people
I looked at London in a different way after a meeting with Polish girls, bloggers. Each of them has lived here for a few years, and they all really love London. What for? Why?
What do you like in London?
London is a city you both love and hate, because it devours you whole. But trust me, once you come here, it’s really hard to leave.
You won’t find that many music clubs, bars, pubs, and cafes anywhere else. So many parks and entertainment options. Cinemas in parks, festivals, crazy parties in abandoned warehouses.
It is a world-city, you can explore it forever. You can find every part of the world in London, local food tasting just like it did during our trip to Asia.
It’s a sea of creative people who manufacture everything: from street art to huge constructions; it’s barbers cutting hair in the streets, vintage clothes and the smell of curry.
London is a city where it’s hard to find oneself, but it also gets you addicted with its possibilities, colors and tastes. It’s the city that I now call home.
I got to like London for its energy and for the fact that it’s an infinitely interesting city.
It’s really impossible to see it all, because when you’ve finished, new attractions appear. I love that things are going on here all the time, I like the weather (yeah I know, that sounds suspicious…).
I also like the diversity – especially when it comes to cuisine. That’s all in short, cause if I was going to describe everything – I would write you back in a week from now.
Freedom and development
The longer I live here, the more I love London for its freedom and space for development.
Whatever you can think of – a startup, a series of meetings, a charity event – you will always find people willing to help who will give you their support, good advice and help.
Nobody is surprised if you have a hundred ideas per minute, because many people who live here for a while, feel those possibilities and begin to understand that the sky really is the limit – and they experience an explosion of ideas for themselves, their life and their work.
That means – because I’ve started to talk like a real psychologist – people are what I love most about London.
And traditionally, some graphics from my roaming partner, thanks to whom I was able to explore London:
I also remembered a man I met at Camden Market with street food from all around the world, where he was selling paleo food, good and healthy meals. A Polish guy, living in London for a few years now.
He tells me that preparing good food is his passion. He is now learning the food business, working in this food stand, but he’s already planning to open his own. With what? „Game meat. Good game meat. I will also be selling kangaroos”.
I guess in London everything is possible!