London, Where I’ve Walked
I’ve been there. Among the millions of other people, I’ve been there. I know the gray of the stone and the people who pass you by. I understand how tourism screws up which side you walk on. That the River Thames smells gross and it’s an ugly color too– but once in a while, someone stops and admires it, as it travels through London.
I, like many other tourists, have stood on that bridge. I liked being there, standing and looking over the edge. Held up people walking by taking pictures of it at weird and incorrect angles, which never turned out just right. The smell of the Thames made me remember how old this city is, and that it doesn’t fall.
I’ve written that before: London doesn’t fall.
It continues to stand, and I continue to believe it will stand. It is hard to watch a city I love torn apart after hateful acts. The people refuse to tear apart but instead stand closer together. It is the sadness and rage that rips through the humans across this city and anyone who has been or dreams to go.
By attacking a place like London, it is attacking a part of humanity. For the good and for the bad, humanity and culture has come from this very place. Most of the world was once taken over by people who called London home. This city has shown strength and dignity. Even if history isn’t your forte, there are other reasons why London is so prevalent, from TV shows and movies: Harry Potter at King’s Cross Station, where I, too, pretended to run into platform 9 ¾. Buckingham Palace, where I, too, begged the Queen to let me in so I could be a princess. Westminster Abbey, where I, too, walked across people’s dead bodies in the floor. Big Ben, where I, too, listened as the clock struck. The list doesn’t stop there.
This city is more than tourist attractions, yet tourism is one of the main hubs. Terrorism wishes to break tourism, and I can say with all certainty: that won’t happen. Tourists will flock, like I did once, like I wish to do again. People dream of going to London, like they should, where there are some of kindest people that ever existed, where I, too, didn’t know how to use the Tube until one London woman saw and taught me.
When there is a terrorist attack in London, I think back to this woman. I do not know her name, but I know what she looks like. Out of everyone in London, I saw her twice, both times at a Tube station. She was somewhere close to Limehouse, I think. When a terrorist attack happens, I scroll through the pictures, because I can’t imagine that she might be a victim. Among other things that bring me back to London, it is that woman and her kindness.
The childhood melody was “London bridges falling down, falling down, falling down. London bridges falling down, my fair lady.” This bridge doesn’t fall.
London doesn’t fall.
I’ve been there. Among the millions of other people, I’ve been there. My advice to anyone who wants to go London: don’t be scared. It is safe and open. It is lovely, beautiful, and welcoming. Where dreams come true. I know you’ll enjoy London as much as I have and as much as every other tourist who was walked that bridge with pride.