Saturday, November 13, 2004

London tourism

Having just commented on the difference between the enthusiasm of visiting London and the combination of ennui and avoiding the centre for people who actually live there on Funtrivia, I thought I'd reproduce it here as it sums up my attitude to living in what's really a small town that just happens to be 7 miles from a hell-hole that's the capital of England but few barely think about here, let alone visit very much. This was in response to an enthusiastic visitor from 200 miles away, and gave the prevailing local view.

'It's usually the same- as I read your post I was thinking those that actually live in a place tend to mainly circulate around the residential areas, do the tourist sites once or twice, and then return to the suburbs. And now with the congestion charge to drive into Central London, we're almost forced to whether we like it or not! It actually costs more now during weekdays to drive into London from just outside the centre and then park there for a couple of hours than it would to take a taxi. And the novelty wears off the public transport after about 16 years of waiting for buses, and I'm just glad no one referred to our Victorian underground train system...

I feel I'd far rather have grown up in a proper community outside London, and then been able to go in, enjoy what it has to offer and return to the provinces, than live here all my life and like most suburbanites hide in the greener parts for most of the year. You appreciate London so much more as a visitor than a resident from what I find of many people I know here. Oh dear, I hope I haven't poured cold water on the London experience, but this is just the insider view. And it reminds me of what I heard every time I was telling people where I was going when I first went to America- "Cleveland- what do you want to go there for??" "Toledo, what do you want to see there??" - I think it just shows people like exploring, and the grass tends to be greener anywhere you don't live!'

To which I'll add 'Saddam Hussein? what good did it do us in London getting him out of Iraq? Send the tanks in and get that bloody lunatic Ken Livingstone out of London before he f**ks it up for good'

3 comments:

Stef said...

Mmmmm, clearing out Ken Livingstone by force ...

One expatriate Iraqi on TV yesterday, commenting on the Fallujah attack, mournfully pointed out that the UK Government wouldn’t dream of launching a full scale military assault, with 20,000 soldiers and armour, on Hackney just to clear out a few hundred criminals.

No it wouldn't, but it's a bloody excellent idea though. They could start at that new City Hall building by Tower Bridge ...

Kendall said...

Hello David,

I've been reading your posts and I must say I find them very interesting.

I don't think you've poured cold water on the London experience. I can't wait to come see you next year.

David said...

Damn good idea Stef- OK, they rarely have weapons in Hackney, but if we put the same effort into quelling crime at home we could clear it easily and focus our resources where the locals would benefit, ie you and me.

I'm glad my moanings and rantings about London's diabolical public transport didn't put you off Kendall, why did you think I preferred to use the car? I can also hire a motorbike for a few days, they are the only way to travel to Central London now, and it will be the summer.