I spend a week in London. I see old friends, I breathe the light air of a city washed and clothed for the Olympics to come and think if London were always like this, I would even give it another shot.
It rips me off in every corner but I smirk, like a wet mother to an only child who successfully extorted a few quid from a family member who actually doesn’t need it. I don’t need it, London. We have a life down in Berlin.
I eat, I drink, I laugh, and I feel merry. I pack to come back; I carry a once again heavy bag all the way down to Kings Cross St. Pancras but this time I stop right in front of it and admire its glory. Unlike the times I was a Londoner myself, I’m calm now, my vision is HD, I see every detail, I record its smell, I almost feel every pulse in it. You have to be an outsider to be able to see it all. It’s beautiful!
I stand in front of the ticket machine. I notice the price for a return ticket to Gatwick is one pound more expensive than a one-way. My trip was great; I’m full of love and generosity so I buy a return ticket in order to save a lucky passer-by a good share of money by giving it away.
I arrive at Gatwick and stand in the middle of the exit to the trains back to London. I ask several people “are you travelling to London Bridge?” some don’t answer, most say no with a frown, nobody says yes, and nobody smiles. Bad vibes. I don’t really care. I come back to Berlin with a free ticket to London Bridge like a sure shot.