Thursday, August 03, 2006

Stinky, stuffy, overpacked but still..

London Tube 3
Originally uploaded by Phillip.H.
That was a soft landing from holidays. I was at the office only for one day to sort out emails (and study the new email programme) and then it was already due time to fly to London to open an exhibition on theoneminutes at the ICA. I used the opportunity to stay in London for a few days and meet people we work with.

I now understand why nearly half of the people in the Tube have iPods. I guess if you work 10-13 hours per day, travel daily 2 hours on the Tube from and to work and struggle economically, you would long for moments when you can leave all that shit behind and just put Bangles on your headphones and forget all the noises.

As I walked to the ICA on the first day, I had to cross Trafalgar Square. Must say, that place should be seen by everyone who longs for mass tourism to their city or country. Zillions of pooing pigeons chased by kids made at least me decide not to buy Hitchcock's Birds that was on sale.

It is superexciting to observe people on the Tube. A clear majority of the people look extremely tired. Compared to Amsterdam a lot more people have bags under their eyes. As a working colleague who I met today said:"You can survive with 4 days of work? I envy you so much . I have problems surviving with five."

But even when all this is taken into consideration, I would still love to live in this city at one point of my life. At least in Soho I am seduced by the notion that Caucasian as a default Caucasian has been broken ages ago. Or that I am writing this email in a jazz bar with live music. Or that curry is a local dish. Huge cities like London are able to create this feeling that everything is possible here. As an American novelist Sherman Alexie writes in Ten Little Indians:"

"If human beings possessed endless possibilities, then cities contained exponential hopes."

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