Saturday, February 27, 2010


London is a world-class city, easily my favourite1 big city in the world. I like to call it the original city, just to bother any Babylonians nearby listening.2

London does a few things amazingly well:

Open Space

I grew up in a little town in Utah (translation: top of the mountains) called Holladay (translation: if you want open space, go buy your own land you stinking hippy). They don't do parks very well in my home town. I distinctly remember going to the nearest open field, by the Elementary school, to hang out on weekends as a child. I say distinctly, because I can still recall, as an eight year old, walking to the playground to find it occupied by a couple laying down doing something strange.

I immediately ran off, scarred for life, but I don't actually think they were up to anything indecent because a) my friend who returned to investigate told me they were up to something, b) he never once told the truth to my knowledge about anything ever, c) lying friends + gullible childhood = some really embarrassing moments3, d) they arrived on a scooter, and e) they were probably fourteen if they came to the playground on a scooter to smooch.

London has loads of open space, and I have yet to interrupt someone making out. There are parks upon parks, though some of the parks are called Gardens (translation: not actually open to the public at seven p.m. on a Sunday, so don't waste your time trying to get there).

Indian Food

Realizing their own cuisine lacked what is commonly referred to as "flavour", the English conquered India for its food. The empire may be gone, but the blessed Indians have remained in London, providing food for anyone who actually likes to eat what is commonly referred to as "food", or even "edible morsels not boiled until shriveled".

Londoners, I'm just kidding, your food is great! Because you got it from India. Great idea, by the way. Bless you India for the blessings of your blessed food. Mmmmmm, curry.


London is great for getting around without a car. They have the most advanced transit system in the world. Through a variety of physical and temporal improbabilities, as well as some shady math, their underground system actually bends space and time the minute you enter a station, ensuring that, no matter where you're going, it will take at least thirty minutes. It could be one stop away. Thirty minutes. Amazing.

If the space-time continuum refuses to budge, however, they go the low-tech route of stopping trains at random.

On an unrelated note, you may be surprised to hear the circle line has not yet actually made it once around the full circle. There are trains from the 60s stuck somewhere between Euston and Kings Cross full of skeletons waiting for a green signal.


When you conquer the world, you bring home their art. Nowhere is this better displayed than the British Museum, where you can find the actual Rosetta Stone, most of the Parthenon, and Cleopatra's nose hair (not available to the public).

Not only do their museums contain everything you didn't read about in history because you slept on, then slobbered through your book,4 but they're free! Well, the ones with anything of historical value. This stands in sharp contrast to New York, where they make you pay exorbitant sums to see the items they looted from weaker countries.

The People

The people in London are great.

First off, nobody here is actually from England, much less London. Well, there are a few, but they mainly stay inside watching various and sundry reality T.V. shows. But the Londoners I have happened to stumble across have been very kind, though most of them feel varying degrees of sorrow over the loss of the empire, and their descent from the world's ruling power. They've accepted me here mainly because they see America is about to pull a Britain, or, as my co-worker put it, "you're next".

Secondly, Londoners are great because they never question you when you decide to leave the city. They all sort of expect it. You've got to admire an optimism that fully and truly believes that the grass is greener elsewhere.

But it's not. London grass is definitely the greenest I've ever seen. It's a beautiful place, and I strongly recommend you spend some time here.

If you'll excuse me, I've got some space-time to bend.

1. Sorry, a reckless shout-out to my ou-loving friends. Let's hear it for colour and favour!
2. No, seriously. My landlord has some flavour of Middle-Eastern descent (so I guess he may not actually know anything about ancient Babylon, but still), and spends most of his time talking very loudly in Arabic three feet away from our shared door. This is disconcerting, because the door isn't actually a door, but a closet door. That is locked. From his side. Only.
3. I have never forgiven my other (former) friend for getting me to believe his middle name was Penelope.
4. Teasing, of course! I only slobbered through my geometry book. Not really joking on this one. It actually did not contain an un-spat-upon-and-thus-wrinkled page when I returned it. Some day I will meet the individual who inherited that book in the following year, and I expect she/he will kill me on the spot.

1 comment:

schwerwolf said...

Nice footnotes. Saved me 5 minutes.