Now that I’ve been here for awhile, I feel like I have found my way (literally) enough to begin to form some pretty solid questions about life in the old smoke. That may be one of my favorite parts of city life. It’s just never boring. Every day brings new questions. Like, why did that bus driver just look away and then completely ignore me at the bus stop? Why am I suddenly in a mosh pit? Where was that fun shop I wanted to walk around in?
Is this an “obey or die” kind of thing?
Truly, the questions are endless. But there are a few that seem to have been the most common/pressing of these first months:
- How does everyone walk so fast? I get it. It’s a city. It may even be THE city. People have places to go and things to do and buses to almost miss and trains to hop on. The walking fast thing isn’t a mystery. It’s just a part of life in the city. What is much more difficult for me to figure out is how everyone walks so fast. I can be walking at full-stride, shins burning, whispering to myself that tomorrow I will stretch more before I leave my flat, while getting passed on the right by an 85-year-old woman pulling her groceries behind. I just watch in wonder and eat her dust.
- Does everyone get lost on the bus system? No? I mean, me either. Seriously, it’s been about 2 weeks since I got on the wrong bus. Now, I’m going through the newcomer hazing process that is “This bus will be returning to the station. Everyone needs to depart now.” Which let’s be real, is just a new level of lost on the bus.
- Let’s talk about scarves. I have always been something of a scarf skeptic. But my first few months had me asking am I the only person who missed the lesson on how to correctly wear a scarf? This city wears them well. I’d bet that a picture of London from space would show a scarf neatly tied for warmth.
I will never be a scarf person.Here’s what happened. In between my first draft and this posting, theweather turned. In a really big “I can’t feel my face” kind of way. So today I bought a scarf/blanket from my new favorite store. It’s really only been a little cold for a few days, and I already know that it is not going to be an either a coat or a blanket kind of winter. I am going to need both. ALL THE TIME. (So maybe I’ve gotten to the bottom of this question.)
- At what point do we think I will be able to quit talking about the election with complete strangers? I’m too much of a realist to believe this will happen tomorrow.
Why does everyone always have a canvas bag?I figured this one out (I think)!!! At first, I just thought everyone was really environmentally friendly. Or fashionable. Or interested in making statements in passing. But then I was given a paper bag on a day when it rained and my bag began to disintegrate almost immediately. This is why you always carry a canvas bag!
I’m still getting through that initial learning curve. It’s still steep. But it is filling up with Christmas lights and store window decorations, so it stills feels a little magical. And now that I have a scarf/blanket, rather toasty.
Isn’t Liberty London dreamy?