For me London was more than just a holiday location. I moved from Amsterdam to London for the first time when I was six and a half years old, and instantly I felt a connection to the country, specifically that wonderful city. There was something about London that just drew me to It. It was Christmas time when I first saw the city, so I have always thought the bright lights had something to do with it. Nearly three years later, when I moved to Frankfurt, Germany, the connection I had with London began to weaken.
Whenever I thought about the city, I still felt a sense of peace come over me, but it was not the same. As much as I wanted to be happy and at home In Frankfurt, there was Just something missing. Luckily, two years later, I moved back to my city. To a tourist, London may look like a labyrinth, a complex maze of never ending turns and streets. But there is so much more to it then that. When I was younger, the first time I saw London, I was in awe. I was so small compared to the city which was beyond huge. That was the first time I realized that I was a tiny part of something much, much bigger then myself.
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Standing on a corner of Oxford Street in the midst of the Christmas rush can be a frightening experience for a small child, but in my eyes it was amazing. Everywhere I looked, there were more people going In every possible direction. I found It Incredible how so many people could fit In such a seemingly small area, with no apparent discomfort. The shoppers were doing a dance of sorts, weaving in and out of the passers by, side stepping, speeding up, and slowing down. To them, it was almost habit, an everyday activity, but to me it was brand new. I felt a burning desire to learn the dance.
I stood to the stood to the side watching and trying to learn. I had wanted things before In my life but this was different, It was not just something I wanted it was more than that. I did not Just want to become one of “them”, I needed to become one of “them. ” A special part of London is the Intricate system of tunnels and rails that create the London underground or the Tube. The Tube Is a central part of life In the city. It connects people from every corner of the vast city. On the wall of every station and train a map of the complex routes is displayed.
The lines slither and slide over each other twisting and Turing till they cover the everything from the winding River Thames to the crowded center of Covent Garden, I would often find myself standing in one of the many dark underground tunnels staring at the colorful snakelike lines printed on the wall, I soon began to realize that London is untamable. No one person could ever control this powerful of a beast. It would take a lifetime for someone to even come close to understanding the complexity of this beast that Is constantly improving and adapting.
As a small child, I wondered if it was possible for any one person to visit everywhere the tube traveled; it seemed too great of a task for anyone to achieve. As a child I moved many times, At the age of eleven I had already moved around eight times. I was used to having to pack my life up and relocated to a different 1 OFF move to a city stay a while and leave without really getting to know where I was living. I had no reason to believe that London would be any different. Little did I know that this move would be the one that had the biggest impact on my life.
I have experienced many different cultures during my life, from living in many different places and visiting even more. When I moved to London I was not expecting to have to learn and adapt to another culture and their traditions: I am originally Irish and I assumed it would be similar to the way I had been raised. In some ways I was right, but in other ways I could not have been more wrong. The English lifestyle was Mathew similar to what I was used to, but London was made up of much, much more then Just the English.
No matter where I was in the city the vast variety of nationalities, cultures, languages was astounding. Never had I seen so many different types of people living peacefully in the same place. Even with all my experience on moving and having to adjust to different societies I still found it incredible. This exposure to so many different people at once is one of the main reasons I have never really understood how someone appearance or background should have any affect n how they can or should live their life.
This is the beauty of living in a city as versatile as London. It forces you to stop looking at someone for their appearance, you start getting to know their story, who they are as a person rather then a ethnic group. As a child, I had constantly problems with obeying orders and listening to authority, it is because of this I think that I connected so quickly with the feeling of freedom that fills London. There is a sense of organized chaos that resonates throughout the city. The iconic black London taxis rush everywhere, dodging buses, cars, and the occasional person.
Yet at the same time they follow an unspoken set of rules that have developed as time has gone on. The streets are littered with traffic lights and zebra crossings, an attempt to maintain order and public safety, but it is much more common to see people dashing across the road at a more convenient point for themselves. Blaring car horns and ringing bike bells intertwined with the shouting and cursing of aggravated Londoner creates a symphony of noise that presents the heart of the city.
The intricate mixture of innumerable different sounds combine to make an anthem that represent the city in a way that is incomparable to anything else. It has been said that “people do not know what they have until it is gone,” but for me that is not the case. I knew that I was somewhere special the first time I entered London. Having to leave only made me realize how much I loved the towering buildings and the bustling streets. No matter the time of day, month, or year, there is always something going on in the city.
No matter where I looked I would see something new, something different. Each time I was forced to leave, I knew how fortunate I was to have gained such an experience. London is a bright, vibrant metropolis, that never slows down and is always improving and changing. Frankfurt, Germany, where I moved to was the complete opposite-?a small suburban town with little going on. It was the type of place where everyone knows everyone else, where people spend there whole lives. I longed for the blinding lights, the never-ending buildings, the city I now call my home.