I have been back in London for 9 days and am about to leave again this evening. It has been a while since I was last in Britain, and I have been glad to return, but the old memories of what London can represent (good&bad) have been reaffirmed.
The last time I lived here was 2009, and I was pretty miserable working as a travel agent. The creative side of me screamed to escape like a baby bird about to hatch. I had to split lest London’s stagnation stifled those green shoots.
Korea was fresh soil and has allowed rapid germination, which will hopefully allow me to return successfully back home to cultivate a career in acting for life.
Still London showed both sides to me whilst here.
I arrived with a production team and crew ready to make a Korean film in London. The process was great, I didn’t need to worry about money, I didn’t need to worry about work. I was respected for my role, I was even recognised by strangers in London. A first.
Then after the crew had left, the scenes completed, I was here alone for 3 days. Time for family, friends, reunions, reminiscence. But only within their tight schedules, around the 9-5 dearth, cut away from them by society every day.
I had to worry once more about money, about work, about sleeping space. London presented like a city in perpetual decline. Like a mangy pigeon, it struts around seeming lost, confused, ruffled. Nobody cares to keep it clean, to take pride in the streets, facades and walls. The desperate, unemployed, drunks, fill all corners reeking of self pity, desperation and special brew.
The two sides of London exist in harmony, but to be in the first group is so much more difficult, especially for those who create, who eschew the rat race for their passion. If I am to return, it can only be to the certaint that I might avoid the latter version of London. The second version of the city that seems to have grown fatter, swallowing up the pleasant London more with time decay for all.
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