I live and work in London, one of the largest and busiest cities in the world. I am from Singapore, a country so small that there's no 'countryside' or 'rural' although being 10 minutes from the heart of the city, I consider folk living in Jurong or Pasir Ris totally "ulu". There's no prize for guessing what type of girl I am. I'm a city girl through and through. When I was deciding between continents, my choices were between Sydney, New York and London. Huge cites.
I've been traveling a little in the UK. Andrew's from Ipswich so I've been a few times for family gatherings. A road trip to Devon. A weekend in Henley. Climbing a mountain in the Lake District. While I fully appreciate the calm and serenity of the country, I daresay, I could not fathom living in the country. It must be the "Singaporeaness" in us coming through when EL and I say, in every town that we go to that we could "stay here for X weeks sanely with a car and high-speed unlimited broadband." Devon got 3 weeks because with a car one could drive to many other parts of Devon. Coniston got 2 weeks, max. A weekend in Henley was too long for me.
The city girl in me is also evident in that I live in Zone 1, near St. Paul's Cathedral. I know that I probably won't be able to or want to live in Zone 1 forever. I'll probably trade in the convenience for a larger house at some point. But at the moment, I love that I'm a 10-minute walk from the office. Night buses (not that I've been on any) are great. And a Starbucks and a Costa vying for retail space around every other corner.
One of the drawbacks of living in the heart of Central London is the supermarkets. I love huge, expansive supermarkets. Supermarkets that actually stock the elusive buttermilk. So many times I've wanted to bake scones or muffins and I've got every single ingredient save buttermilk and I've had to scrap the idea. Big supermarkets are present in Zone 2 but sometimes the inconvenience of carrying groceries back in the tube is enough to detract from that desire. (And for those of you who've been in the tube in summer, you really know how unpleasant and uncomfortable it is).
I'm going home soon. Home to Singapore. What I'm looking forward to in that city are - coffee shops opened till 2 or 4 in the morning; cheap, delicious eating places opened 24 hours, shops that close at 9 or 10 at night (how can normal office workers even make it to late night shopping if the shops close at 7?); and of course, my family and friends.
What sort of person are you? More on Sunday Scribblings.