Thursday, October 17, 2013

London Revisited

So here I am, on a cloudy Monday, seated on an old wooden bench facing the Thames. I feel different things- excited, exhilarated, nervous, scared, happy. I am all of these now.

This is my second time in London. I came here last year, but as a tourist. This time, I am a student. And what a difference it makes! My last visit to London was experienced through the camera lens. Like any other tourist, I walked around constantly capturing anything and everything I saw. Old buildings, the iconic black taxis, the bright red telephone booths..even lamp posts! I did what a tourist in London is supposed to do- go to the millennium bridge, see the national gallery, walk through Hyde park, take pictures in front of the Big Ben and London eye. And of course wait in a crowd of hundreds to take blurry pictures of the change of guard at the Buckingham palace. I did all those things and I really enjoyed it too.
But this time, I'm FEELING London. I can feel the fast pulse of the city, I can see its colourful diversity, I can smell ambition around me. A lot of things which I didn't notice in my first visit are revealing themselves to me now.

Today morning I walked out with plans of buying some stuff for my room and then changed my mind and decided to just walk around. I didn't have any place in mind so I just..walked. If certain streets seemed interesting then I explored them. I got into random buildings, did a lot of people watching. Followed some around when I wasn't sure where I was going. Heard interesting snippets of bankers contemplating on whether to eat couscous or not…
At one point I was caught in an oncoming rush of people in suits. Smart bankers and investors in greys and blacks and blues. Women, ready to take on the world, rushing to their offices in their nikes and Adidas with the heels stuffed into their bags. Steaming coffee from Costa in one hand and sandwich in the other, they marched on to the face the gloomy Monday. And I came back to my cozy room.

I think I like this city. Maybe because I blend in here. I can be one of the many walking around, without explaining why.

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