The blanket is back in the closet along with homesickness this week. The sun is out again and so are we, happy Londoners in sandals and tank tops sporting sunglasses, maxi dresses and fake tans (I stand out in my glorious paleness).
Londoners that were born and raised here, Londoners that have only been here for a while, Londoners now, New Yorkers and Parisians tomorrow, this city is made of its people. It’s a city where you get your morning croissant (the buttery pastry with a French name), from Eatalia (an Italian deli) where people greet you with a ‘Buenos Dias’ (good-morning in Spanish).
London is a city full of moments like that. You’re having lunch at the park on the Riverside where a Spanish festival is taking place. You queue to grab a spicy chorizo bap with Rodopi whose name is the same as a sierra in Greece. Then it’s time to fill up the glass with Emmanuelle who comes from Bretagne and wouldn’t want to live in Paris. You wonder if that paella is good with Italian Ornella who lived in New York last year and thinks that Greek men are the most passionate. You share your churros with Kieran who was born in England to Irish parents and who plans to be in Brazil for the next World Cup with his Brazilian girlfriend. You make way for James to sit who is English/Australian and has a last name that could land him a career in porn. (Then of course you’ve exceeded your lunch break by half an hour and have to come back to a backlog of emails from a demanding French and an even more demanding Aussie.)
London is the place where you meet your Colombian friends for a quiet drink after work and end up downing aguardiente shots from a pedicab driver outside the Palace theatre while the GS man from Tuam complains that the empanadas are not good. It’s also the place where you find sand and beach balls in the club that’s hosting a Greek party where a 50 year old man with an at least 30 year old tan is licking the pole while dancing to Madonna’s Holiday.
Now this might be a weird mix for some. For me?
In the words of Joey: I like it! What’s not to like? Custard? Good. Jam? Good. Meat? Gooooooooooood.