Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Lessons from London

I have spent time in London twice this year. The first time was slightly intimidating. But the good kind, that makes you pay attention and figure it out quickly. So it ended up being exciting and wonderful and filled my head and heart and spirit with joy. The second time I knew my way around, knew where I wanted to go, and truly took the time to travel like I lived there.

A good trip will change you in some way, integrate itself into your way of being. And London has done that for me. Here's how.

It is bold and understated at the same time. I love this. Let me explain this using the way they dress. Everything is in beautiful neutral colors, but nothing faded. Think saturated greys and navies and blacks and chocolates. But in all of that neutral you are going to see some sort of detail that makes it special, maybe pin stripes or interesting seams or fabulous buttons. And the women? They are not afraid of adding in something you would never think of! Red tights! Camel colored boots! A hat with a bow! I want to be regal and sophisticated, but not afraid to add something bold and unexpected. In how I dress, but also in how I do lots of things.

It is diverse. I love the many different aspects of this city. You can sit in an old, noble church like St. Pauls and listen to a witty, humorous priest give his sermon. You can have a meat pie and beer in a pub, listening to raucous locals try to guess your accent and then walk a block to see Phantom of the Opera in one of the most famous theatres in the world. You can see where the Queen lives, admiring the guards in the funny hats and then hop in a cab and eat the best Indian food in Europe. And it seemed to me, at least in London, there is no discrimination. People are different and that is not celebrated, but its more like its not noticed. Like it doesn't even matter. Hello! THAT is equality.

It is surprising. I am often described as intimidating when you first meet me. But you will soon find that I am actually quite warm, interested in you, funny, and quick to laugh. I just take a little bit to warm up to people. I think London is a little bit like that. There is a sophistication to this town that is obvious within the first few minutes of stepping off a train. And if you stay on the surface, never taking the chance to get to know more, it will just stay impenetreble and elitist. But that's not it's nature at all! Just give it some time to show you what it's all about and you fit right in.

This is my kind of place. As I continue to visit other destinations in Europe, I think London will still be the place I think I could live. It suits me some how. I don't know that my life will take me in a direction that living there is possible, but I'll always love to visit and hope to do it even more. With wide eyes and an open spirit...

St. Paul's Catherdral and the Millennium Bridge
Andy Warhol at the Tate Modern Museum

Veeraswamy Indian Restaurant

Traditional British Pub

...QueenB Says

No comments:

Post a Comment