Hey London, I am trying to like you.

I remember when I came to London for the first time – on the airplane I had the first claustrophobia panic of my life. It’s not London’s fault and it wasn’t even in London (and I’m fine now) but this memory got tied to my image of London.

In town people spoke weird English. Now I know that the English I learned in Japan was American English. People in London sounded different and it was hard to understand. Some words were even different too, like ‘rubbish’, ‘chips’ and ‘tube’. I remember a friend of mine once told me that you need an Oyster to get on a tube. What are you talking about?

The speed and intensity of London reminded me Tokyo. And the multicultural air reminded me New York. Before I didn’t have much of an image about London, maybe only Sherlock Holmes. I really liked it when I was a child. I wanted to be a detective and solve mysteries.
London’s traffic is a nightmare. Somehow I get stuck in it every time. Once I arrived at Gatwick airport. I was picked up by a taxi the promoter sent me and it got stuck in the traffic. I had time, so I was pretty relaxed and enjoying view from the window eating a rice ball my wife had made me. The car was nice and the driver was really a gentleman. He sometimes tried to find a bypass so I could see some local neighborhood which were more interesting than a highway. Eventually I had to spend an extra hour in the traffic. Finally we got to the hotel then the driver said to me “You are the most patient customer I’ve ever had”. Well, I didn’t have to pay an extra fee and had nothing to do before soundcheck so it was all fine. So I smiled and said “Yes, I am Japanese.”

Actually some museums I visited were nice and I have had very nice Indian food too. Maybe I need more time to get to know London better. Next time I should finally visit Baker Street.

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