Saturday, 16 December 2006

Long week…

Long week… this past week was defiantly one of the longest that I had since coming over to the UK. You know when files seem to be pilling faster than what you’re running through and each day you end up with a larger pile, a longer to-do list than the day before and more e-mails to read? Well this week was one of those.

Every day I have to wake up around 6am (pitch black as sunrise is still a couple of hours away at this time of the year) and leave home just before 7 to catch the “moody” bus that takes me to the rail station on time for the 7:14 to London Bridge. You see old faces, passing warn-out places (Mad world, Tears for Fear) heading for another day of hard work, constituting the all famous commuter community around the great capital.

I don’t think that you can be classified as a proper Londoner if you don’t commute at least 30-40 minutes to work every day while hoping against hope that National Rail, London underground or the various bus drivers unions don’t decide to go on strike on that day or even not bother showing up to work that day. This being always more than a strong possibility in this city that the most used excuse for being late to work is “train is running late” or “a fatality on the line” (a favourite of the exposed tube lines on the outer skirts of the tube network).

I talk to friends living in Germany, France and far away in Japan, and I’m always astonished by the notion of buses that run on time down to the second, air conditioned trains and stations that are kept to the highest standards of cleanliness and security! Do I live in a first world country or on a different planet?!! The comparison won’t be fair between, say France and Syria, but you would assume that London is not that far behind!!

It’s funny that when everyone in the capital city jumped at their desks when London was announced as the city for the 2012 Olympics but the first thought after the joy of defeating the French was that: how the hell will we handle the extra couple of million people that will flood the city with venues for different events spread from Stratford in the east to Richmond in the west some 70miles across the capital, ouch! But what the hell, it’s all worth it for beating Paris

For me, the daily trip is a time to think of the day ahead, what new things will find their way to my desk over the next 9 hours? Feeling intrigued and weary at the same time I just allow a warm voice to tell me that all will be ok and that for every long day, there will be a trip back the same evening and I’ll be one day older, one pile of work over and a different to-do list for the following day.

That warm voice keeps me going day after day, week after week, guiding me through the complex composite of the modern life in this city.

London is a cold place, compared to the natural warmth of Damascus but I’m lucky to have my voice, for the walk is not that lonely in its company….


Haider Droubi said...

i enjoied readying yr dairy...i agree cities r differant,,some of them are sunny ,,people are differant...but each city has something good to offer..and i m sure london has alot...
nice pictures..

Syrian in London said...

Thanks Haider, I agree with you although London seem to hold do many different cities within it.

Andre Barkil said...

I really enjoyed reading your post because every day on my way to Uni. ;the 45 minutes ride which makes me Londoners; I ask the same questions , why on earth such big wealthy country can not make its public transportation works. On top of that, this underground is far more expensive than any other underground in Europe. Actually I can go on criticizing this country policy to not subsidize the public transportation system. Finally do not forget “ to touch in and touch out your Oyster card in order not pay …” ;)