I was reading Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert the other day. Marvelous book. I was surprised how much I enjoyed it. I’m usually an envious reader, harrumphing my way through bestsellers, all nitpicky and sniffy. But she managed to pull me in and make me laugh out loud. I’ve even learned a thing or two about meditating.
It’s a perfect book to curl up around when you’ve a stonker of a cold. Which I had a couple of weeks ago. I think my body gave out after a year-long obsession with getting my child into a good secondary school. The day after we got an acceptance letter, I woke up honking.
So I took to bed with Eat, Pray, Love and came upon the passage where she talks about how each city has a word that best describes it.
Rome supposedly is Sex
New York is Achieve
L. A. is Success.
Her Swedish friend said Stockholm was Conform.
And I started wondering, what is London’s?
Personally, I’d have to say Accepting.
Londoners just seem to walk around, unflummoxed by the melting pot of nationalities, abilities, interests and economics that is London. Oh, sure, there’s grumbling and whinging but there doesn’t seem to be a big hoo haw about it.
There is of course the multicultural element. The veritable United Nations in every tube train compartment. But it’s something more. It’s the long post office queues which meander quietly around the corner. The mixed neighborhoods of million pound and council houses. The take-your-turn-driving necessary along its narrow roads.
That’s what always strikes me about London. So I nominate Accepting as its word.
Anyone out there care to throw out some ideas?
photo by heerbhup (flickr)