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Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Pros and Cons of Living in London


London is a busy city. It's vibrant, colourful, noisy and polluted. I was born and raised in the UK's capital, and have also lived outside it - in Guildford and briefly York. I think this city has its pros and cons, and so am going to write about them.

Pros:

Cultural Diversity. Whilst I'm not someone who is hugely bothered about culture and believes its individual character that matters, I think its important to recognise that we live in a culturally diverse world. The fact that we all come from different parts of the world and grew up in different socio-cultural climates can help for us to understand one another and learn about different perspectives. (This is why the term 'cultural appropriation' is such bullshit; appreciating someone else's culture is not 'offensive'). London is one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world, and reminds us to tolerate and accept people of all different backgrounds, and opens us up to different foods, music, entertainment, customs and ways of thinking.

Lots to do. There are so many events and attractions in London which make it one of the most visited places in the world by tourists. But its not just visiting the museums or aquarium or London Dungeons that make being here worthwhile. Simply going around on a bus or walking through one of the major parks can be fun.

Public Transport. London's public transportation system is brilliant. The buses are cheap (and free for those aged 18 and under or 60 and over), and the underground and overground systems are efficient. You don't need a car in London because getting around via public transport is quick and easy.
Very cynical hilarious song; but London's transport
is actually very good. 

It's busy. I'm a city girl to the bone, and find being in really quiet, secluded places to be creepy and unsettling. The reason why lots of horror stories are set in small towns is because you expect it to be safe because everyone knows everyone, which is why its so easy for a serial killer or rapist to take advantage. Living in a busy, crowded city makes me feel safe because I anticipate 'danger' more, and know that I'm never all alone because there's always the sound of buses or police sirens round the corner.

Shops are often open. The great thing about cities is there are lots of shops open till late or 24 hours. I can pop to the Sainsbury's round the corner from me at half ten at night because it's open from 7AM-11PM. You don't get that advantage with smaller towns because there's less demand due to a smaller population so shops close early.

Things are nearby. Additionally, because of a larger population and a higher demand, even if living in a residential area there tends to be lots of shops selling books, food, clothes, electronic repairs and the like nearby. You don't have to travel far to get something you need because everything is around.

Cons:

It's busy. While living somewhere busy can be great if you love the feeling of lots happening around you, for those who are more sensitive to sound and prefer somewhere quiet this can feel overwhelming.

People tend to be unfriendly. Obviously once you start having a conversation with someone you may have a good rapour, but its not secret that Londoners tend to be unfriendly and moody. This is because most of us are rushing around somewhere - to work, or to meet people, or simply feeling rushed off our feet. Lots of drivers from outside of London dislike the aggressive nature of drivers in this city. I am learning to drive and recently had a hostile experience with a couple on the road - I was clearly a learner, but the impatient lady came and yanked my instructor's car door open to try and intimidate me.

You can feel isolated. In a giant city where so much is going on, you can feel distant from others. My ex-best friend lived on the other side of the city to me and while I liked travelling to and from his house, it can feel isolating when your friends live ages away from you. In a small town, everyone is near each other so I guess its easier to see your friends more often when you can walk to where they live.

Finding work isn't always easy. You would think that because London is such a big place, there are loads of job opportunities. It is true - I recently started working as a part-time Steward at Wembley Stadium, and really like my job. However, because there are so many people, there is a lot of competition when it comes to finding jobs. In a small town, its likely you will know someone locally who can offer you a job, whereas in London the sheer competition even in a local area means you have to apply for loads of jobs in order to get accepted.

It's ugly. I know loads of people think London is beautiful, but I personally find cities to not be aesthetically pleasing. Guildford has a great balance - it has a lovely river, lots of trees and flowers everywhere, and still retains the cosmopolitan element due to having shops and pubs nearby. While London does have a lot of parks and green spaces, its brimming with big buildings, pollution and litter, which takes away the natural feel and thus makes it grey and unappealing.

Anyway, those are some of the main pros and cons I can think of about the UK's capital and one of the most famous cities in the world. Have you been to London? Do you live here? What do you think of it? Let me know!

Additional reading:

https://www.timeout.com/london/things-to-do/101-things-to-do-in-london

https://secretldn.com/free-things-to-do-london/

Two of my favourite places here are 'The Blues Kitchen' in Camden and 'Kew Gardens' in Richmond:

https://theblueskitchen.com/

https://www.kew.org/

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If you enjoy my posts check out my novel Every Last Psycho. Available to purchase on Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07F44CMNJ