Today I hate London

When London feels too crowded

Today it seems the world came to visit London. I know I choose to live in Zone 1 and reap all the benefits that living close to the heart of London brings, but today I came close to causing bodily harm to some tourists. All I wanted was lunch but at the first place I tried it was a 40 minute wait for a table, the second you could get a table at but it was a 50 minute wait for food and the third I couldn’t even get in the door to ask.

Love of my life and the people I hate

These weren’t specialised cool hip newly opened restaurants by the way, they were the type of chains that you can find open in London city on a Saturday (GBK et al). Giving up on the hope of getting food I decided to go home for lunch, and by doing so opened myself up to all consuming rage as a half a mile walk turned into a 40 minute sage.

Very crowded Tower Bridge

Please I beg anyone with wanderlust, who see my Instagrams of a beautiful Tower Bridge and jealously wants to move to London, this is what it was like today. Tourists blocking every conceivable walkway, tourists who thought it totally acceptable when the bridge was at a stand still to stop for a selfie, tourists who saw the jam and took toddlers and the elderly into the melee.

London Tourist Crowd

As I fought my way across Tower Bridge I got so angry at the crush of people that I stepped into a corner of the bridge and just stared out at the Thames. I paused to think about the joy of sunshine in late October and tried to remind myself that I love this city. It was totally working, I was restoring my zen right up until the point that a man thought it acceptable to stand this close to me. Ugh. Before you ask, there was plenty of space around, he just had boundary issues that he wanted to make into my boundary issues.

Man Standing too close

There are days when I could cry over the beauty of London, the iconic building just reach a part of my soul that I didn’t think existed. But I hate the mauling that they get from snap happy tourists. Seriously tourists what the hell was the point of being crushed like a sardine on Tower Bridge? What did it add to your London adventure? Do you understand the history any better? Can you marvel at the beauty? Or can you now post on Facebook a crap selfie with a crowd barely cropped out of the background.

Too many people all missing the point of London

My dears when you come to London don’t just follow the crowd. Don’t focus on photographing yourself at a moronic tick list of monuments. Go and find what makes this magical city tick; find the street art, the latest in food and the most ancient in culture.

I love London, and I wish that those crowds today could have experienced some of how I see my city, rather than falling well and truly into the tourist trap and seeing nothing but the back of another tourists head.

Crowded River Thames

 

14 Comments

  1. Kat
    October 25, 2014 / 10:17 pm

    Amen!!

  2. October 26, 2014 / 12:18 am

    Ugghh! I know exactly how you feel as I made the mistake of going to see the poppies last week and walk over tower bridge. It was a nightmare and totally tarnished my experience of seeing the poppies. Idiot tourists doing stupid selfies mid bridge walk was insane! These days are rare but man do they get you! X

    • runawaykiwi@gmail.com
      October 26, 2014 / 1:55 pm

      I know right, way to make an emotional/historical experience into a hellish one!

  3. October 26, 2014 / 5:21 am

    Well said. I think the crowds are definitely one thing I won’t miss at all about London… And the tube at rush hour

    • runawaykiwi@gmail.com
      October 26, 2014 / 1:55 pm

      Eek don’t even get me started on the tube at rush hour! If you ever feel like coming back to London just re-read this post šŸ™‚

  4. October 26, 2014 / 1:48 pm

    I find Leicester Square the worst. Always super crowded. I was there on a Wednesday afternoon and even at that time the streets were rammed! Just makes me want to scream!

    • runawaykiwi@gmail.com
      October 26, 2014 / 1:53 pm

      I can never find any redeeming features in Leicester Square…no good architecture, no restaurants nothing authentic. Very brave of you to go!

    • runawaykiwi@gmail.com
      November 2, 2014 / 2:18 pm

      Blue sky in an unexpected month makes it even worse!

  5. October 27, 2014 / 3:14 pm

    haha oh I totally get that! Well on a smaller scale – I live just off the royal mile in Edinburgh and it is hell trying to go anywhere!

    • runawaykiwi@gmail.com
      November 2, 2014 / 2:17 pm

      Yikes, I can’t even imagine that during the festival!

  6. October 28, 2014 / 11:30 am

    Haha, SO true – days like that just kills your spirit šŸ™‚ When I lived in London I used to work in Oxford Street and that place is really too packed with tourists as well! Of course I chose to work there but some days it just drove me insane – especially if I missed lunch because of crowds! I’m considering moving back to London at the moment – good to get a little reminder of the tough times as well šŸ˜‰

    • runawaykiwi@gmail.com
      November 2, 2014 / 2:16 pm

      Hehe it always seems to be when I’m hungry that the crowds REALLY get to me!