Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pros and Cons of London Town

With a little under four days left in London, I have decided to compile a pro/cons list of London, or in Layman's terms: "yay, London" and "boo, London".

Things I like about London:

You can get anything you want here. Sure, it sounds a little materialistic, and maybe it is.
Though I do appreciate being able to buy things I'm not able to get easily back home (wild game and certain other types of food - truffles, for instance).

There is a lot to do. Much like the food and other consumables, London is a swarm of activity and a treasure trove of things to occupy your time. I have enjoyed exploring the city and its attractions, though there is still so much that I haven't done yet: St Paul's Cathedral, the Tower Bridge, the London Eye, the Queen... but I don't think you can ever have ever really done everything in London - it's that big.

The West End, Covent Garden, Picadilly Circus, and Notting Hill. This category pretty much speaks for itself. All good places, all good times. Notting Hill is my favourite suburb.

The Borough Market. My favourite place in London. Without a doubt.

Acorn House (Restaurant). England's first (only?) eco-friendly restaurant. I went there for dinner, it was delicious!

The Tube (when it works). A great way to get around, especially as London is ginourmous.

It's just a cool city. There's a lot to do here, and it's mostly fun. I continue to have a blast here, despite now having to resume working for a living.

Things I like less about London:

The Tube (when it doesn't work). Every weekend the Jubilee line is closed for planned engineering work. I live on the Jubilee line. This has been the cause of some consternation and some considerable creativity in making my way across town.

It's expensive. Not London's fault, really. Difficult when you're spending NZ dollars though.

The number of people. It's because I'm a kiwi; I'm not used to having millions of people inside my personal bubble. Not a major complaint, but still hard to get used to.

The food. In general, the food here is fair to middling. It's true that you can find great food in many places, but these places are often either hard to find, a secret, or are prohibitively expensive. There are some gems, and I've found a couple. But in general, it's a little average.

On balance, still really like London. But since that I've spent the most time here out of anywhere so far, I have the chance to explore it better than anywhere else on my trip.

I can see why people love it here, but I think that it's kind of like a romance - you love somebody despite their flaws; they're never completely perfect.

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