I always lie metropolitans like LA and Sydney. London especially fascinates me. When I lived there as a young student, it never failed to surprise me. My class was a mini UN with more than 20 nationalities, everyone learnt to speak in accentless English, exchanging ideas and viewpoints in debates and everyday after-school bar hopping from their cultural and upbringing imprints, while meaning to be educated in a universal approach. It was like encountering an exhibition of humanity and history, with myself representing one of them.
There was no corner and no time spent that was story-less. Everyone had a somewhat crazy and unbelievable one. The homeless guy near my dorm house who I shared cigarettes with every time I came back from clubbing, my strawberry dude and farmer’s market chat, girls who kick ass having to hide from their families, military classmates who just lost their mates in the battlefield, believing in their stories to fight for what they love and care about. Hyde Park corner is historical. Chinatown is historical. The hundreds of squares scattered around all neighborhoods are historical. Yet London was made also so much more alive attracting all sorts of ideologies and those who validate them into this complex organism, making the historical more humanly relatable, and the alive more ritually beautiful. The palace is elegantly boring, the oldest tube station floor is disgustingly charming, Harrods fulfilled the fancy lady undeniably alive within all my layers, while the high street sales satisfied the munchies. The people, they are simultaneously identically sophisticated and dramatically simple. Groups co-exist but rarely have dramatic fights, there’s just simply too many ways to have a good time, or an interesting time.
It serves as a portal, just like any moving opportunity we encounter in time and space. Aging, climate change, geographical moves, sub-cultural groups you attract, living dynamics with other humans and animals, weirdly to serve the ego with learning opportunities. There’s so much urgency to find a place to fit in and snuggle up to, because the city is so vast and one gets easily lost without any humanly support system plus earthly things pleasing to the eyes there are expensive, having to identity with one certain group or culture or belief, otherwise it is so fearful of dying or losing its control over the, er, story? There’s also artificially made possible to experience so much emptiness and space to unidentify to oneself, because individuals seem so identical and insignificant in such a massive place and function. There’s no pressure to be anything or go anywhere, and someone else within the city has had the achievements you plan to take in the next 5 years anyhow. There’s time to experience and verbalize the peculiarity in between, is it the false death of the ego, the farther identification of the pain body, or there’s just us and our stories we told again and again, merged, or existing in separated dimensions?
Once we start to be conscious about what masters we are at manipulating ourselves and fitting people in or lives into our stories which we told ourselves we have to continue, there probably will be less and little having to fit in or the heavy duty of needing to make a new story to continue with, just the sweetness of being totally at ease with whoever you are, wherever you are, having a look, having a laugh.