My Relationship with London

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Someone recently shared with me an electronic copy of A Baseball Game in London and other Exaggerated Chronicles, a short book written by a fellow Cuban who spent a few years in London completing a PhD. The Cuban literary magazine Cubaliteraria had invited the author to write a series of vignettes about British culture, as experienced by his own senses. What results is an insightful and at times hilarious memoir that shows how even a baseball-loving Caribbean can find and love his home in London.

This not-so-baseball-loving Cuban can understand. I too have come to embrace London as a fourth(!) home. As a foreigner, I am a proud member of a majority group, sharing seminars and meals with people from Tibet, Kosovo, the Philippines, Kazakhstan, Vietnam. London has brought us together and allowed us to discover that we actually can laugh at the same jokes.  

In London I can walk everywhere and always find a treasure if I get lost. I can feed squirrels in my backyard, reach Paris in two hours and celebrate Pancakes' Day (during International Women's Day). I can visit world-renowned museums free of charge, attend ethnic festivals, read away in the cafes of Marylebone High Street...I can even attend a royal wedding, the Olympics and intense student riots all in the same city!

I forgive London for the cost of public transportation and the customer dis-service, the winter nightfall at 3 pm and that infamous rain. Because with all its faults London has been good to me. It has taken me in like another child, pampered me and given me the freedom to grow as a person in multiple environments. London itself has been a school, and my aunt is probably only half-joking when she teases me about my Master's in "London Studies."


Maria is a guest blogger for Foreign Students. She posts regular updates of her experiences as a postgraduate student at LSE in London. Click here to see her older posts.


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