Sometimes, I find it strange that I rarely feel homesick. After all, no one wants to be perceived as indifferent towards their homeland. But please, allow me to explain. Home is a place I can always return to. Whereas here, I was destined to leave. With a relationship that was bound to end and one that will never cease, can you imagine a more fervent longing? It’s a feeling not unlike a man with a wife, yearning day and night for a lover. For the lover is destined to be ephemeral, even when embraced in one’s arms, the fear of its eventual departure remains. On the other hand, the wife is a reality too close, too familiar, and at times, too mundane (my sincerest apologies to wives, but I couldn’t think of a more intimate comparison).
Each day in London holds the potential for delightful surprises. Like that one evening when I arrived home at seven, and to my astonishment, I encountered a dreamy London shrouded in mist. Then out of nowhere, a tall woman in a black cloak swiftly passed before my eyes, evoking a scene straight out of an old noir detective movie. My heart cried out, “Oh my, I’m living in the land of fog!” I was surprised because I had read somewhere that England’s foggy image was merely a relic of the past (the industrial revolution era?), and that the term “the land of fog” was an archaic expression. Many of my British friends also mentioned that it doesn’t happen all that often. However, if a foggy England looks as beautiful as this, could it be undeserving of the slight prejudice?
I’ve heard many people, including fellow international students and natives, say that London is a lonely city. I hadn’t given it much thought, as I believed one could feel lonely anywhere, whether in Saigon or Paris, if they fail to find resonance with their surroundings or simply because they are young and yearning for love. Recently, I’ve begun to sense that sentiment, with winter fast approaching. There are evenings when I return home at four in the afternoon, and darkness has already descended, the streets empty and desolate, the chilling wind creeping through the gaps in my coat, leaving me yearning for warmth. But I can’t forget that I’ve always been alone in this lifetime. Every relationship I’ve had felt superficial, at least compared to the romantic dreams and illusions my soul has harbored and buried (because eventually, you become realistic and realize it’s time to differentiate between reality and dreams).
And for me, London has been a love affair. I’m so deeply immersed in this love that all sorrows and loneliness become secondary and ephemeral emotions. There was even a moment during dinner with a British friend when I blurted out, “I’m so in love with life that I can continue living perfectly with or without love.” Indeed, I adore life to such an extent that I can carry on, whether with or without love. When I recall that moment, I can’t help but blush and feel the excitement of a fifteen-year-old girl talking about her secret crush.
London is an enchanting enigma, and I’ve fallen under its spell. Its contradictions, its ability to embrace change while cherishing its past, and its mesmerizing allure have left an indelible mark on my heart. Each day brings the potential for thrilling surprises, like that misty evening when I stumbled upon a scene straight out of a noir movie.
The city’s mystique is captivating, as if every corner hides a secret waiting to be unveiled. The blend of modernity and history creates a charming paradox that leaves me in awe. From the iconic landmarks that speak of London’s storied past to the vibrant cultural scene that keeps the city’s spirit alive, there’s always something new to discover.
While some may call London a lonely city, I’ve come to realize that loneliness is not defined by location but rather by one’s connection to their surroundings. And amidst the bustling streets and occasional solitude, I find comfort in knowing that I’ve always been destined for this journey, where every day holds the promise of a new adventure.
Living in London has taught me to cherish both the highs and lows, the moments of joy and occasional loneliness. It has shaped me, made me appreciate the beauty of introspection, and taught me to embrace the uncertainties of life.
As I journey through this love affair with London, I acknowledge that every relationship has its complexities. Yet, I find solace in knowing that this is where my heart belongs, a place that has become a sanctuary for my soul. The love I have for this city is beyond words, and no matter where life takes me, London will forever hold a special place in my heart.
So, let the world wonder, let them seek flaws and imperfections. For me, London is an enchanting dream, a love affair that defies comparison, and a city that will forever hold my heart in its embrace.
Welcome to a captivating journey into the heart of a city I hold dear—a place that has stolen my heart and woven its magic into every corner of my being. In this enchanting series of articles, I will be sharing my love affair with the enigmatic city of London. Join me as I unveil the hidden wonders, embrace the contradictions, and revel in the eternal charm that makes London a place like no other. From misty evenings that evoke noir movie scenes to the joyous surprises hidden in every street, prepare to be immersed in a tale of love, exploration, and a city that forever holds me in its warm embrace. Let’s embark on this thrilling adventure together and discover the beauty that lies within the essence of London, a city that fills my soul with endless joy.