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Posts Tagged ‘City of London’

London Life #1

The City of London on a Friday night

The City of London on a Friday night

I moved to London the first time in June 1996 at barely 25 years old. After spending three and a half years in Eastern Europe, I was in awe of how everything worked. But the little things caught me off guard. I never had the right change for the bus, spent hours in the supermarket looking in shock at everything one could buy, developed an expensive taste for shopping at Harvey Nichols and had almost more than a few accidents walking across the street looking the wrong way.

And I went through probably my worse egoistic, superficial and money-hungry phase of my life. My friends were all the diplomat or very wealthy Eurotrash crowd. I lived initially in the Nell Gwen House, which alongside the Chelsea Cloisters, was where all expats City kids were transited through in Chelsea. Then I moved to Millbank, overlooking the Thames, opposite the looming MI5 building and next to the Tate. I spent my weekends skirting from parties to visiting exhibitions and doing girly lunches along the Kings Road.

The Mayor's Office from the Direction of the Guildhall

The Mayor's Office from the Direction of the Guildhall

I also worked insane hours and was so exhausted most days that I barely took off my clothes before getting up and doing it all again. I had thought in Budapest that I was pretty cool and so anticipated that the move to London would be pretty easy. Basically I was young, ambitious and not a little bit full of myself. So it was initially hard for me to fathom how mistaken I was. I walked into a job that I was woefully inexperienced for and very out of my depth in terms of the level of major corporate politics. Men would come up to my desk and insist I make them a coffee, my boss got me drunk on a regular basis to feel me up and I had a company credit card with no limit. It all felt so cheap, but filled with my own and the ‘jobs’ self-importance (can one even say that?) – I pushed on with a hunger that I have rarely felt before or after.

The Juxtepose of Old and New - Beauty and well Something from the 1960s

The Juxtepose of Old and New - Beauty and well Something from the 1960s

And I was so in love with London. The architecture, multi-culturalism, the music and art and the food … especially after years of shortages in Eastern Europe! For someone who left their small town at 16 with the sole aim to travel the world, it felt like I did not have to go anywhere to experience the world – it was just at my feet when I walked out my door. Its no wonder that every time I have left it for any amount of time, I was like a boomerang and bounced back.

Something inside me has lately wanted to re-explore the city. I feel this need to document what I love about it and share the many memories I have collected over the years. So alongside my many random ponderings, I hope you enjoy this series of London.

A Sculpture outside WestLB

A Sculpture outside WestLB

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