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Thoughts on returning to London after having lived abroad.

Forever a tourist

Closeupby Charlie Davies20 Nov 2016

Months have passed and it feels like home again.
So much and so little has changed.
There are occasions when I still long for the past,
That relaxed place, where coffee is cheap
and the streets smell like oranges.
But for now, I, a Londoner, am exploring my city.
Eager eyes take in new, seasoned sights.

THE NEW:
A fresh pathway I walk each morning
Capital ring, dazzling greens
The distant arch of football.
Leaves fall, dancing drunkenly
To rest on wet shivering grass.

THE OLD:
Underground back and forth
Engineering (nothing) works
Eye (non-)contact sports
As we bury ourselves in our
screens and papers.
The scrum and scramble
as if the last train of our lives.

THE PEOPLE:
Familiar, foreign words flow into my ears
The rest bounce happily around me
A cacophony of alien tongues.
I have an urge, brimming
To connect;
to say and to ask total strangers anything.
IloveyourshoesIsthatworthreadingCanIborrowyour
mapasecWhereareyoufrom.
Yet I almost never do.
The other day I spoke to 3 people.
The exhilaration of a bit of non-technological connectivity.
Wonderful and awful strangers.

THE TOURIST:
London at night, monumental delights.
Through horseguards parade I wander,
A blue eye pokes out,
Chimney steam rises blurring out its lights.
As I round a corner
A grand face soars into my vision,
Obtrusive and imposing.
It chimes unmistakably,
Bounding along the Thames.
Goblin green lights
surrounding its summit.

Forever a tourist it makes me.