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Since I got to the airport in plenty of time, only to discover that my plane is more than an hour delayed....

I will miss the availability of culture that comes with living in an international city like London.  The plays, concerts, poetry readings, art exhibits - everything literally a stone's throw away.  I'll miss the Southbank Centre where there was always something happening.  St Martin in the Fields - beautifully restored church with a great little cafe in the crypt and wonderful classical concerts.  The little pubs with couches to sit on and the real ales...OMG, the real ales.  The Green Note Cafe with it's funky folk/world music and unbelievable fudge brownie with ice cream desserts.  I'll miss the sense of going to a film being an event (well, it would have to be an event for the prices they charge!) and the hustle and bustle of Leicester Square.  I'll miss the little stores like Marks and Spencer that sell individual portions of food - fresh fruit and veggies and pasta and full meals - great for a single person on the go.

I'll miss walking along the Thames and seeing Big Ben and the Houses of Parliment.  I'll miss being able to go to service at Westminster Abbey or St Paul's and hearing glorious music while sitting in a glorious space.   I'll miss the easy way people just get together on short notice for a drink or a meal or a chat or just to hang out.  The way it is so easy (and relatively cheap) to get almost anywhere from London...and how much fun it was to plan weekend jaunts to different countries.  The way cash is almost unnecessary and even the cabbies have little chip-and-pin readers.  I'll miss the international vibrancy of the city and the people.

I will NOT miss the abyssmal customer service and the way any kind of "improvement works" seems like it takes forever.  (and then, when it's done, they start all over again!)  I won't miss the constant tube closings, the stop-and-go service of Southwest Trains, the inexplicable delays and re-routing of bus lines.  I won't miss the bland and unimaginative food (except for the free-range eggs!)  I won't miss the gloomy weather and the inadequate heating. I won't miss the stupid taps in washrooms that force you to either wash your hands with scalding hot or freezing cold water.   I'll be glad to say good-bye to the tiny washing machines and the stiff towels and jeans because there aren't any nice,  big clothes dryers.  I never did get used to walking down a busy street, only to have the people in front of me suddenly stop in the middle of the sidewalk.  I'll be happy to go back to calling the underground railways "the subway" and calling a lift an "elevator" again.  (I might hold on to using the word "loo" though...it's kinda cute.)

And of course, I'll miss certain people very, very much...but that's another post entirely!

Date: 2010-06-23 12:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] highstone.livejournal.com
Yes, that's one of my bete noires - the idiots who suddenly slam on the brakes and look surprised when people walking behind cannon into them...

Date: 2010-06-23 12:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pearlette.livejournal.com
London rocks! :). And at least most of the time - most - you feel like you're getting value for money, at any rate. But it is pricey, all the same.

Missing you already! Mwah!

xx

Date: 2010-06-24 01:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] volkhvoi.livejournal.com
Oh, what a nostalgia trip! That's how I remember London!

But, oh, customer service was something the customer provided! I thought the Dead Parrot sketch was just silly, then we came to the UK and *met* that shopkeeper!

Back here across the Pond, you will discover that cash is vanishing here, too.

I still say "brilliant" and call apartments "flats".

Date: 2010-06-24 06:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nerdanel.livejournal.com
I won't miss the gloomy weather and the inadequate heating. I won't miss the stupid taps in washrooms that force you to either wash your hands with scalding hot or freezing cold water. I'll be glad to say good-bye to the tiny washing machines and the stiff towels and jeans because there aren't any nice, big clothes dryers.

Ack, this is most of what I'm dreading about England, right here.

Date: 2010-06-24 08:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lea-ysaye.livejournal.com
I will miss you, and I'm sad we didn't see much of each other lately. :/ Hope all goes well at home, though. :)

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