Saturday, October 3, 2009

day 4: final day of london and the joy of being a tourist

what have a i learned in these fateful nights since i arrived in the LDN so many days ago, a groggy traveller

1. free wifi is not to find in elephant and castle
2. travel blogging is hard and should now be attempted after ive taken atavin at 1 am after a night of heavy drinking

well, here it goes

so my love affair with london definitely continues. there are so many things about the city that remind of new york that i often wonder if i can catch the 1+9 to bakerloo. while crossing the jubilee bridge, i was cursing tourists for stopping traffic so that they can take a picture with the stupid thames in the background. im trying to get to the tate. go away. i need to see me some jeff koons.

but im a tourist too. granted, i might know a bit about the city but im still definitely a visitor to this amazing city. part of the problem of being an nyc expat is that i constantly feel like a visitor to wherever i go. even in my home of boston, which i know inside and out, i still feel like a gaping tourist sometimes while walking along the charles or catching something at the mfa.

this is the essence of being human -- to be able to be a tourist in places that are both familiar and foreign. i think that the beauty and sites are relative and that an amazing waterfall is still amazing regardless of whether its outside of albany or in africa. one should always respect the city they live and hope that they can find new crevices to discover.

that said, the last 4 days in london have been amazing and breathtaking as usual. i went to places with cathy that ive been before but didnt mind returning with a fresh partner (tower of london, westminster abbey, greenwhich GMT sites, among others). on this trip, i saw some new things i hadnt experienced: st paul's cathedral with its 500 step ascension to the top and the london eye which is like walking 500 steps up. both afford me with some amazing views of london i hadnt yet seen before.

somehow though, after 6 trips and about 3 1/2 weeks spent in this city, i still have things i want to see: an unknown art museum in north london (totally forgot the name), a return trip to the national gallery, a proper wander around harrod's, and day trips to canterbury and oxford. i need to come back here and soon.

like new york and boston, this is a city i can continually a be tourist in...though im not going to stop and take picture blocking traffic on major thoroughfares...assholes.