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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.