London – Cold Beauty
How can such a beautiful city be so painfully cold and distant? I can’t help but to close my jacket and wrap my scarf a little bit tighter as I walk over to Piccadilly Circus. So tight, it’s difficult for me to soften up to the city. What good is beauty when I can’t bare to be in its presence.
Some say there is beauty and wisdom with age, and it is clear that London ages well. The majestic buildings with its molded pillars and chiseled facade line the streets of London, wide or narrow. Proud and strong. But not only is it cold in temperature but also in its pale complexion. Been here three days and not once have I seen the sun. And this is normal they say. A city forever hidden under the clouds and doused by rain. The concrete bleeding its color onto everything in its arms-length, maybe even onto its people.
I have to mention again that I’ve only been here a very short while and even though it isn’t fair to speak all of London people as one, I will share what I have observed in my own way of thinking. This is in no way truth, but my own creative notions about the general public in respect to the city.
When I say that the concrete fortresses bleed onto the people I mean that the people themselves carry a seriousness that feels cold and distant in personality. For example, on the streets, everyone has somewhere to go and not even a second to pause along the way. People walk fast and drive fast. When you see them coming, best to move out the way. (Now I do have some nice things to say, so please continue reading.)
No doubt, the long-term residents have adopted the city’s bold confidence and the natives are just born with it. Only the worthy can reside in London. It’s a no mercy country – their museums can back my statement. Our dear friends, Carlos and Tom, a long-term resident and a native in that order, have taken us in and shared their sweet little flat in the center of the city. Their hospitality was immeasurable with fresh squeezed oj in the morning to British souvenir mugs to go with. They’ve taken time off to show us where local’s eat and drink (the Bourough’s Farmers Market has some of the best pork and salted beef sandwiches I’ve ever had – slow roasted meat cut right in front of you. And the Shard’s 32nd floor bar is breath-taking.)
I’d like to think that our friends are naturally warm people and doesn’t it take a while to get to know a friend? Without them, it would’ve taken much longer to know the places beneath its cold surface. And without the random chance to walk into a boutique stamp store, Blade Rubber, and chatting with the nice British lady, I wouldn’t have known how warm it was inside (I even loosened my scarf.)
Perhaps it takes more than a few days to thaw the city. To get to the heart of it. I’ll be back, London. But next time, better in the summer. Cheers!