“I’ve always thought of London as a living entity. “Vibrant” – it is often depicted as such. The city breathes. The city cheers joyfully. The city cries. The city laughs. The city lures me. The city ignores me. The city leaves me. I leave the city. Indeed, London is as lively to me as any human being. Sometimes I feel the full force of his life, hundreds of thousands of blood vessels flowing somewhere. At times I find it fatigued, sagging under the weight of a huge flow of immigrants, of the persistent tensions between people, of long days of hard work, of dying passions. All the people I met, “bad” or “good”, those born here or immigrants, constitute this city. I can feel it, with all my senses. From the exciting noise of festivals and feasts, the mysterious silence of the night, an elderly English man’s gaze towards me on the train, to the cold that shakes me throughout those winter nights and the overwhelming joy and excitement in my heart. Even after leaving, I still love “him”. Especially after leaving. I have never held such overwhelming passion for any other place.
The great thing – or the problem of living in a big city – is that nobody gives a damn about who you are, where you come from, and what you do. That may be very sad for those who long for affection and community, but it is fun for those who live in their own world. London may be the loneliest city in the world, but it is also the freest city, the city for individualists like me. Since I do not care what others think of me, I feel this is an ideal place. For others, they may feel abandoned and neglected. For me, I feel great being let alone and free and being my true self. Maybe I love this coldness because I am such a lonely and selfish person. And I also like to live here as an “outsider,” because it allows me to observe and admire, and to get excited and disgusted with everything as an outsider. Only as an outsider could I view this city with the most innocent eyes, to see and feel everything new and fresh. Living in a city as an outsider is a way for you to live in continuous amazement. Because every day you live will be a new day, another day different from all the days you have had.
I was deeply in love with London, to the extent that sorrow and loneliness would become ridiculous. One time at dinner with a British friend, I said, “I love this life so much I can continue living with or without love.” Thinking back, I cannot help feeling funny. As I said so, I must have blushed and looked so excited like a fifteen-year-old girl talking about her first crush.”
(translated excerpt from my book “I lost myself in the Kingdom)
Translater: Google Traslate and me.