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|Opinion||Sun, 27 May 2012||Tweet|
Note: All articles in the Opinion section are the views of the individuals expressing them and do not represent The Stand's official stance on anything.
Now that I'm back at home, I remember why I completely disagree with Jamie Ross's column on London. Here are my five reasons why everyone should love the capital.
1. You don’t have to talk to people.
There's nothing more unbearably irritating than when a cab driver asks about your night, day, week, summer, family, childhood or life, and God knows I’m tired of being harassed by uptight old women using me to make a passive aggressive complaint about ‘noisy children’ or ’rude-young-men-who-don’t-offer-their-seats’. I can therefore say with pride and pleasure that if you speak to a stranger in London, you are immediately labelled invasive and insane.
2. OKAY, it rains, but that’s fine.
When I’m attempting to enjoy the peace and quiet of bumble-fuck-nowhere, one thing I utterly despise is the rain. When it rains in St Andrews, students are left running down North Street, if their lucky, with a well-chosen hood protecting them from the occasional rock of hale. A gale broke my umbrella on my first day here, just before I tripped onto the PH and fell into what can only be described as a small pond in the gutter – something else that has never happened to me in London. During a downpour students can either squeeze themselves into Taste, Beanscene or the Library. Or if you've managed to get a house to live in, you could confine yourself to its four overpriced walls. London rent for... Golf? I don't play golf. At least in the capital, your shelter could be an Orange Wednesday cinema trip (another thing small villages deprive us of), a gallery (nice bit of culture for you), or a museum - better than the one on The Scores. And even if you've heard of 'MUSA', I can almost guarantee you still haven't been inside.
3. Eight million people share one city.
Getting on the tube is beneficial for two reasons, the first: your immune system. I don’t know anyone less sickly than the Londoners. The vaccination is a regular glass of dirty Thames water and the daily inhalation of the germs of millions of people. While my country friends crapped themselves in India, I sat on the balcony sipping on a mango lassi. The second benefit is the development of remarkable patience; there is nothing like allowing that little elbowy asshole with a bag the size of an overweight child to get on the tube before you; it requires extraordinary tolerance. When you endure this kind of anti-social behaviour up to four times a day, especially during rush hour, repulsive chewing, obnoxious breathing and not. funny. jokes wash over you as if they were Herbal Essences.
4. The sweet smell of pollution.
I’d always rather walk through clouds of taxi/bus/car fumes than vapours off cow shit. Forced to choose between a life of riding tuk-tuks down Oxford Street all day or of shovelling manure and cleaning horses’ arses (it’s true, they do that), I’d choose the tuk-tuk. Just put on one of those face covers worn by hard-core London cyclists (a sport you can put on your CV) and check out Boris and his white mop coming up alongside you – he does it without a helmet. Ledge.
5. If you get bored, you can leave.
There’s nothing like a little holiday to North London, East London, Devon, Brighton, Cambridge, or if you’re thinking of something a little more exotic perhaps even Paris, Rome or Thailand. Well, these destinations (and more) are on direct routes from London. If you’ve got money, air miles or even a bus pass, you can fly your London nest at will. I’d love to say the same about the little village on the hill, or even that ‘town’ in –shire, but I would be lying. You’re trapped once you leave London – unless you go back to it.
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