Why I don't miss London
Finally back to work after a short break that included a visit to London and Antwerp.
In many ways, London is still its good old self and I always enjoy coming back for a quick visit to see family and friends and immerse myself in the vibrancy and creative energy of the city. However, there are many things about this last trip that reminded me of why I was happy to leave London over two years ago.
For one thing, the prices and cost of living in London are ridiculous. They always have been, but the reminder was a shock. A one way tube ride is now £3 ($6), regardless of the zone you travel from and to. A vodka martini in a so-so London bar is £7.50 ($16). A three mile cab ride will rip you of £15 ($30) with a driver that seems aggrieved with the fact that he is driving you somewhere, and so on. That's the everyday stuff (well, maybe not the martini). The property-prices-to-square-footage-ratio is getting worse too.
It's a dirty city (dirtier than I remember), with overly aggressive commuters and bastard parking meter attendants. The attitude (as well as the tube) stinks. To get into a tube car you need a martial arts black-belt and a cold heart. No-one says 'excuse me' when they shoulder you. No one makes room or has consideration for others while on their travels be it on foot or by car. Pushing and elbowing your way through the bustle is standard operating procedure, as everyone seems to be in apparent drastic rush to get where they are going to. The sad thing is, you end up having behave the same to get from A to B or you'll never get there, not in one piece at least. After living there for 27 years, the instincts that I thought I had rid myself of over the last two years quickly kicked in again. When in Rome, and all that, but I don't like my aggressive side.
I wish I could say something nice about London to finish off this post, but I'm finding it hard. Oh yeah, here's one - London: crap to live in, but good for quick visits.