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London bridge didn't fall down

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London is a place of hectic madness and every so often everything stops - if only for a moment and you stop and think about everyone else who lives in and loves this great city; and how in pretty adverse circumstances we all just operate the best we can.

Today is the anniversary of the London tube bombings. I didn't live in London when they happened, nor have I ever experienced acts of terrorism first hand but I find myself connected to the memorial in a way that I very rarely am. Like I am part of it. Like it is part of my identity.

If you had asked me last year, I probably wouldn't have noticed. But my new job means my commute is in the tube under the armpits of my fellow 9-5ers. Politely avoiding eye contact and shuffling to ensure enough space for them to play candy crush. Today I had to travel for a full hour east to west under the city knowing the pain and heartache that was endured by people just making their way as best they could to their job, to do what they love, or don't. To provide for their family, or not. To make the world a better place, or not. It's not what they were doing that matters. It is that Londoners stand by quietly, and let people be the people they want to be, need to be or are expected to be.

Other people may disagree but I don't think Londoners push ideas and opinions on people, you are perfectly entitled to be anyone you want to be. Whether you wear flowers in you hair, a red Mohawk or a burka. In London you are free to choose.

By that day people's ability to choose was taken away. The Tube, a london stable, tried and true (apart from the tendency to strike) is part of the London psyche. It is our transport. It is basically out legs. And the same way that you take the legs of someone in a sports game, the person goes down.

But in this case London didn't. It plods on mechanically and methodically providing people the lifestyle that they have been accustomed too. I am thankful that scaremongering has not ruined the city. Londoners move together like a tube carriage filled with busy commuters crushed together swaying in unison, weathering the bumps, carefully not touching each other as best we can. Often with an abrupt jolt when you arrive at the station - but generally unscathed, they continue to do it each and every day.

In saying that, it doesn't mean I wasn't a little scared traveling this morning.

Posted by kayles 10:25 Archived in United Kingdom

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