This city is so crazy, messy, mixed and huge! It makes me think I'll need another 2 years just to start knowing if I'm liking or not to live here, he he.
London is overwhelming. You walk through the Hyde Park and everything seems so genuinely English. You have the old red brick houses, the black cab, and you think, oh how cute is this city. But London is 10, 100 times bigger and crazier than just a red telephone cabin.
It's like a huge pot of soup to which you will add to the typical British Worcester sauce, the Indian Curry, the Caribbean Pelau, all different kinds of European influences, not forgetting both north and south American hotness. In London you may feel you are not part of any group but at the same time you are part of the whole mix of strangers. People that work and live together at the same street, take the same train every morning, watch the same television.
I see London as the most peaceful place in the world, because here people got used to the strange, to the different. You learn not to judge or to stare to people just because the men is using a skirt instead of trousers or because the woman is covered head to toe in black fabric only showing their eyes.
You learn that the English consider the curry a national food, you learn that once in the 70's Jamaican reggae and British punk were part of the same revolutionary movement.
You learn to respect people, at least I did.
I've also learned that English people are not all like James Bond. They are all very funny and sweet, and even still being way much more shy than I am, we can get along really well.
They take Christmas very seriously and buy presents for every member of their families. They spend thousands of pounds on birthday, anniversary, christmas, welcomes, get wells, congratulations and good byes cards. They are very proud of their tea, but they like to drink the strongest, bittiest, horrible tea I ever tried (with milk, please!).
They love stand-up comedy, comedy tv shows, comedy films, comedy dvds, they love comedy. Every add on tv needs to have a little joke on it and they love to make fun of themselves. They consume tons of bad celebrity stories everyday. They have the best and the worst tv shows on the same channel.
They drink too much, and they are very worried about eating their 5 pieces of veggie and fruit per day, even when canned peas are considered one (or a hundred of them). They are funny delicious people and I'm totally in love with the way they stammer and blink when they talk.
I've been through different phases here in London and went from love to hate to love again the fact I am and will be living here for a while. I've learned to see that things are never better or worst, they are just different.
I wish I had more English friends to feel more integrated with the culture but I think it's just a matter of time. Meanwhile I'm loving to have my Danish, Swedish, Australian, Indian, Canadian, New Zealand and of course Brazilian english friends.
See you next year, London. This Sunday I'll be on a plane to my dreamy snowy New Yorker white Christmas, but I know that next year s gonna be 100% English fun.
Merry xmas to you all. See you in 2012.