During my last minute-before-departure reading about my destination a certain kind of info started to collect itself…or maybe it became revealed to me only now.
A few quotes from posts I have read before – and even agreed with – attained certain meaning when combined together.
Like this one, from this post
Non-Londoners often complain that most people in London are unfriendly.
And something from the thread to it:
I loved London right up till a couple of years after leaving the place. Then, one day, I visited and realised I hated it with a vengeance. I always say that I can take about five minutes on the tube before I want to kill people, and I think I’m sort of joking, and then I visit again and no, turns out I’m not… The problem isn’t unfriendliness; unfriendliness is no problem at all. The problem is outright hostility. And I say that as a Londoner myself. I think there’s a certain level of barstadity that you just get used to when you live there and so don’t notice. If you once stay away for long enough for that to wear off, it’s tricky to go back.
And then today I recalled three ex-Londoners I know (one – personally, two – online), who actually emigrated from Britain to the US, who finds attitudes here much more friendly and nice; one of those people in particular listed this as a reason for emigration.
[Edited later] Now I recall a bit of conversation I had a few days ago, at my former company’s reunion, at a roof bar of the Roosevelt hotel. One of my ex-coworkers, Anthony, got very excited after hearing of my vacation plans (that, and about 10 gallons of beer). He spent in London 6 months about 2 yrs ago. “You gonna have a great time!”, he said – “roaring good time! but remember – don’t ignore those beggars. They are nothing like the subway bums here – old, crazy, smelly losers. In London, it s an occupation of the young. The beggars are barely from teenage years, fit, lean, muscular and dirty-mouthed. Keep a 10-15 of 1pound notes in your purse at all times – or you’ll be sorry”.
In the flow of the party I sort of glossed over these unwelcome news, but now…[/edit]
I thought my sudden awareness is colored by two recent encounters that left me pondering our [real or proverbial] cultural differences, but – here it is, in black and white, not a figment of my possibly inflamed imagination! Today, realizing I’ll not be taking advantage of Labor Day last-summer-outing to the shore I went to the Long Beach; lying on the sand with a copy of “Let’s Go! London” I stumbled upon this sentence:
“Remember to stand to the right and walk on the left on escalators, or risk a rude tumbling from commuters in full stride.”
And then on this one:
“Bus conductors may refuse some passengers at the stop with the looks of scorn during busy periods”.
And this one:
“Acting the befuddled foreigner will not get you off the hook”
And later, note the curious verb:
“These two venerable venues [Theatre Royal and the Opera House] lend a feeling of civility to the area…” So without those two the area is, apparently, lacking in civility?
I know, I can just hear you say – “you live in NY, you should be used to such, should we say, unceremoniousness “. True, sometimes commute encounters leave me wishing for a personal helicopter as means of reaching my office. But…this is my vacation, a break, a chance to recuperate! Am I going to find myself in a hard place after escaping the rock?
Maybe I should have gone to Alaska, after all…
Read Full Post »