Saturday, 10 March 2007

London: Je t'aime moi non plus

London. Either live there forever, or miss it forever. When you're a foreigner in London, you always feel like you're there temporarily. Even though I've been here since 1998 (with a 2 year break in Paris), I always feel like it's temporary. Maybe it's the fact that even at 30 years old, unless I worked in finance, I still have no choice but to live like a student, with total strangers, having to deal with inconsiderate flatmates and having to argue about dishes, stolen food, and worry about money. Or maybe it's the fact that in London, one has to move flats regularly. It's usually because either the landlord wants to sell the flat, which happened to me a couple of months ago after only 6 months of moving in, or because the flatmates are complete psychos, which they often are in London.

Since 1998, I moved from Bayswater to Bayswater to Bayswater to Farnham to Kilburn to Highgate to Chalk Farm to West Hampstead to Camden to Paris (2 years without moving!) to Stoke Newington to Stoke Newington to Golders Green to Stoke Newington.
That's 14 flats in 9 years. Wow.

Two solutions: buy a flat (with a 150 year mortgage) or marry a guy who works in finance...

How many years can anyone live like that? And is it even worth it? How much can you love a city to be able to accept this way of life? I really really love London, but do I love it so much that I don't mind living like an eternal nomad?

London is a seductive trap. Once it seduces you, it won't let you go. And even though it doesn't treat you so well, you can't stop loving it.

It's a catch 22: I can either decide to settle here, but accept the consequences, or go away, and feel like I will always be missing out on something.

London. Either live there forever, or miss it forever.


Ben said...

Vanessa, the butterfly

Andre said...

Hi Vanessa,

I like your writings. I wonder where it's going to lead you. (to Brussels perhaps?)

a place to live seems to be your major concern these days. what about your job or love life?

(hey! did you know I just had a baby girl named Dina?)

Miss Worldwide said...

Andre: Brussels? No way! Job? Important but one should find a balance in life. Love life? I trust that it will come when the time is right and when I least expect it! Yeah I saw Dina's photos! She's so beautiful! Mazal Tov, cousin!

the Jester said...

hiya Ness your blog! :)
i just wanted to say that i tottaly agree with your view of London and i have to say i miss it a lot.I even had a word invented for life in London and thats "urbanomadic"! that says it all! :P
keep up the good work!
loadza love

Anonymous said...; You saved my day again.

Miss Worldwide said...

oh anonymous, thanks for that! I hope you're well!