Thursday, September 9, 2010

Who's a Tourist?

There is a truth universally acknowledged by all big city dwellers: you only do touristy stuff when you have visitors in town.

Having grown up in Washington, DC and New York City, I know this all too well.  Aside from an exceptional third-grade trip to all of the sights in town and aside from that limo ride around the Mall after the senior prom - remember, girls? - the only times I went to museums or monuments was when family or friends came to visit.

(Sad, I know.)

That's becoming true of my life here in London.  When I first arrived here ten weeks ago, I bopped around everywhere, drinking in the sights and sounds and smells of London.  I would go out of my way to see an interesting exhibit at a museum or to walk down Embankment along the river.  I'd suggest meeting friends at Trafalgar Square or South Bank or anywhere, really, that qualified as a photo opportunity.

But as I've carved out a life for myself here, those leisurely walks along border of Hyde Park and those endless afternoons at the National Gallery have become a distant memory, mostly because I just don't have the time to do things like that anymore.  I have a full-time job, a full-time boyfriend, and full-time friends, all of which come with commitments and obligations.

This isn't really a complaint.  I'm taking it as a good sign that, as Danielle at Bloody Brilliant says, "all of a sudden [when] you're really settled in you tend to stop doing those very agreeable activities you used to do when you were new to a city because, well, you're not!"  So yes - that means I'm not a tourist anymore - I'm a Londoner.

(Side note, speaking of being a Londoner: I was overly optimistic when I predicted the Tube strike wouldn't be too bad.  It took me 1h45m and an extra £5 to get to work on Tuesday morning.  Boh.)

Anyway, I do wish that I still had the time and the motivation to spend a morning wandering through the Tate Modern or an afternoon having tea at Fortnum and Mason.  But I like what it means that I don't!

1 comment:

  1. So true, m'am - well said. But it also means that when you decide to make the time to do those things again, you are pleasantly surprised and delighted at how wonderful they are! I think with the change of season, you'll find a reason for that Hyde Park (or new park!) stroll :)


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