Monday, October 06, 2008

Logistics of Aspiration

Packed in like sardines
Originally uploaded by jonee™
London always leaves a bit confused. Even when I have visited this town at least a dozen times by now, its promise remains very lucrative. In a way to me London has some of that attraction that in the case of Los Angeles James Frey describes in his book Bright Shiny Morning: that promise of anything being possible, the promise of starting over, the promise of making it. I find myself being very attracted to this city where one can already question whether the default person exists in terms of age, ethnicity or style.

And then there is the London that you only see when you spend time with people who live here. It is those wonderful cafes, those phenomenal people in those lunch parties, its that ambition you catch when you talk to people about their future. Its drinking that last gin tonic at that upstairs bar too late in the evening and biting into that home-made pakora at that cosy kitchen table. Its those discussions ranging from religion in public life to the differences between X Box and Playstation.

And as a journalist this still is the heaven for me in terms of reading. Walking to that newsstand and with only a few pounds accessing the best writing of today. I always come back with lists of books to buy and clippings of superb articles.

And then, yes, then there is the transport. Its that Jubilee Line stopping between stations for 25 minutes, the Circle Line terminating two stations too early, that bus taking ages in crossing the Thames, sweating through those stinking and boiling hot transfer tunnels and that smell of urine from your fellow passenger. Living in Amsterdam I guess makes you into a spoiled brat but spending 90 minutes underground in reaching your destination is not really something that I would see myself doing every morning. It gives you time to read books though.

Now time for bed, tomorrow we are releasing some good thinking.

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