One of the nicest things about London is the fact that many museums are free because here access to culture is within everyone’s reach.
This is not the case in many other countries and should be, because what is more important than having some general knowledge in life and what is better than going to a museum to discover things and learn.
There are many markets of all kinds where you can find foreign food, local products, plants and flowers, artwork, jewellery etc…
Globally you will be able to find everything you want, if you are an expatriate you will be happy to know that you can manage to find certain products on this type of market. On weekends you can meet a lot of people but some are open all week if you want to avoid the crowds.
Another aspect of London that makes it special is the fact that there are a lot of expatriates so it allows you to make all kinds of encounters, to speak other languages and to meet people from your country. This makes it an even more enriching experience as you not only learn more about English culture but also about all other cultures. A big advantage of this multiculturality is the multitude of foreign restaurants, in fact, you will be able to eat dishes of any nationality, Indian, Italian, French, Spanish, Peruvian etc… the choices are endless.
The numerous and gigantic parks
There are a lot of parks and green spaces in London, you can walk your dog or just enjoy a weekend stroll in Hyde Park for example if you want to see the whole park prefer a bike ride as it is very big. You will see wild animals that have become accustomed to the presence of humans such as squirrels and sometimes even foxes when night falls. The lakes are also an integral part of these parks with ducks and even swans. They are a very peaceful element that will only make you appreciate this city more.
The red brick buildings, the houses with pavilions, the houses with dark wooden beams, its colourful houses and its small private gardens are so cute.
Gothic or Victorian architecture depends on the area, you can also find in contrast to all the things stated before huge glass buildings like The Shard or The Gherkin that make the uniqueness and modernity of London.
There’s nothing worse than being shoved up against the window of the tube almost to the point where you can’t breathe because people are too inconsiderate to wait a minute and a half for the next train. It’s not just public transport and stations that are ridiculously overcrowded, it’s the restaurants, pubs, shops, supermarkets and streets. There is one way to avoid or minimise crowds, however, which is to travel at unsociable hours. Before seven in the morning or after nine at night.
If you’re from the UK then you’re probably used to the emotions that come with the weather. That being said, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) affects a great many of us during the winter months. This type of depression seems native to Britain, perhaps it’s the melancholy weather mixed with our horrendously unhealthy way of life. From highly polluted cities to lack of exercise and bad diet, but British people seem to be chronically miserable.
London prices are so ridiculously high, I’m surprised George Washington hasn’t led a revolution against them. I get that it’s a capital city, and things are more expensive because of supply and demand, but I’d imagine if you told someone in Liverpool that a studio apartment in an outlying district of London, say,s Merton, cost £1200 per month, with everything included, the person from Liverpool would laugh and vomit simultaneously. There are advantages to living in a good area, you know that people are more likely to be reputable and you’re less likely to have problems. There are also a lot of great options for “alternative” diets such as Vegan, Vegetarian, Anti-Dairy, Pescatarian and so on.
Remember when London was full of fresh air? Nope? Nor do we.
There are some great parks in the London area, with Wimbledon and Putney having the lion’s share of green space, but I’d be willing to bet that you feel the effects of London’s severe pollution problem when you come back from the city. There are no ways around it either. Despite best efforts from some politicians and activists, the levels of pollution remain at an all-time high and it’s impossible to avoid feeling under the weather when you return. I for one, have to admit that it’s great when you return to an open space like Merton and feel that you’ve escaped the chaos and pollution of the city centre.
Constant inner conflict
Living in London could cause a serious existential crisis for the strongest amongst us.
There’s a constant battle between loving a city that’s so connected to anywhere you could dream of going to the UK. It’s amazing to be able to go to Brighton in about an hour, to travel up to Oxford in less than an hour and a half, to be in Liverpool within two and a half hours on the train or just hop on trains to explore towns close by like Wimbledon, Guildford or Watford. At the same time, there seems to be an innate hatred toward the city itself.
It’s full of pretentious suits trying to stomp on their competition in a bloody battle to the top, yet also full of wonderful creative types trying to show the beauty in the world. It’s full of insurance sharks but also full of scientific geniuses trying to combat obesity or cancer. Perhaps that’s the issue.
London is the Nickelback of cities, it’s impossible to define it, so we just develop a strange hatred toward it, but there are still a lot of things we love too.
What about you? Do you love the city where you live or does it suck? Discuss in the comments and with your friends on our language exchange!
Written by: Lisa Lambert & Jordan Benyon, Staff Writers