Tuesday, 2 September 2008

London, Day 5

London is a collection of teapots and napkins. But the teapots are buildings, old and stained from rain and bombs and neglect, and the napkins are people. Some are fresh, crisp, newly pressed; most are crumpled, used, and bulging with partially-chewed foodstuffs.

And those are the English. Tourists to London come in three varieties: milling Americans (30-50yrs), inquisitive Europeans (25-45yrs) and honking Australians (21-22yrs). If a local Londoner was asked how they perceived Australia, it would be as a nation of fresh Communications graduates who complain ceaselessly and drink the cheapest beer they can find. Meeting an antipodean in London is like seeing a McDonald's in Manhattan; they're everywhere, they won't leave anytime soon, and their presence generates the kind of cognitive dissonance that motivates concerned citizens to write letters to their MP that Something Ought To Be Done.

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