Lights of London

Andrea, dopo una laurea in lingue e cultura per l’impresa all’università Carlo Bo di Urbino, ha vissuto un trimestre a Londra presso una job placement agency. Ecco quel che si prova a vivere nella City.


Three months in London can be compared to a year in our small village. Why?

In the City cradle of Europe and of the Anglo-Saxon culture time goes by quickly and you can’t imagine how many aspects of a society you can see.

The way people read newspapers every day in the tube, worried about what will happen in the office or at the university is unique. Morning or afternoon, taxi or bus, a cup of tea is a must.

Museums, buildings, squares and touristic sights, the river and the parks are obviously a part of this world…But London is much more than a travel guide. What do you really breathe over there?

At the beginning everything can be strange to your eyes, even because you see things you’ve never seen before. Disabled and gay people, Indians and Europeans, punks and street artists treated equally in a society without barriers (or a few) ‘cause the difference is richness over there.

London is not just a melting pot, it can be considered the city of order and disorder.

Businessmen talking on their mobile, drinking two pints of London Pride at their favourite pub on the corner, paperboys standing all day outside tube stations selling newspapers, housewives looking for the best offer at the supermarket and the fool in Hyde Park speaking loudly announcing that a new global war is going to explode  just after the collapse of modern economy.  Outside the music club in Camden Town you see Mods, Skins and Queers looking at you strangely…and you wonder if that’s reality or fiction.

After that you will notice how people behave in queues and their tendency to help each other in many situations and finally you can “admire” the real “mass consumption”.

Looking at those huge malls in Oxford Street and seeing people fighting to get the last product launched on the market it’s something unbelievable. But everybody wants to be first.

Competition is a common spirit, the engine of a society which regulates itself through a number of abstract rules which find their dimension in every day situations.

And life is really fast, and you need to run looking forward and being careful about people around you cause heaven and hell are not as far as we imagine. Ten million people are an opportunity, but even a threat.

Alone at two o’clock in the morning in  Old Street is not fun. You must be brave walking quickly in the middle of the suburbs hoping to arrive at that bus station…and finally you get home and you smile because you feel stronger.

Perhaps the day after you will feel free and satisfied staying alone for hours in a music shop just outside Queensway Station searching for punk hardcore albums or old books. For once time goes by slowly and you don’t need to rush. Anybody is going to call you… relax yourself and smell that sensation. Take the Tube again and again and that Saturday will be probably one of the best days of your life.

Stay away from stereotypes, this is London.

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