Friday, April 7, 2006

London Observations

Subtly, unintentionally, I think I’m learning more about the culture here than the organization where I work or the field of study I'm pursuing. I remember being a child and singing "London bridge is falling down," seeing Paddington bear and London Fog jackets and imagining a gloomy, phonebooth-red-tinted city of grime and Charles Dickens and proper accents. I think in many ways I have yet to open my eyes to this city. I have been so caught up in making this the place I live, in adopting a "British lifestyle," that I have ignored the beauty that is London and the exquisite opportunity of this recognition. It's gloomy today, as that typical London day is, and gray strips of clouds hang over Canary Wharf, lightly matching the dark gray water of the Thames below Greenwich. Everyone around me is exclaiming “brilliant” and “cheers” and complaining about the weather, as anyone anywhere would. To them this is life, but it's something that I'm learning--the differences are quiet and subtle, hidden beneath casual lunchtime conversations and the day-to-day acknowledgments and comprehensions of the workplace.