OPINIONS FROM THE BRIDGE | Darrin Henry
If you want to sample the greatest variety of people from around the world in one place, come to London. Just walking through this incredible city it’s immediately noticeable the accents and languages we can hear are as varied as the faces that are streaming past us.
‘Cosmopolitan’ is the buzzword the brochures like to use when describing Britain’s capital city but it’s just so appropriate. I’m always astounded by the number of nationalities I meet in London. Even more fascinating are their stories; why people are here. Our story about Dan Ground, the homeless bucket drummer, is one example. Maria Sergejeva, the Olympic figure skater from Estonia is another.
Right now it’s the start of summer and Sharon and I are back in London for a few weeks, and taking our time to just soak up the city again.
People watching is something we all do – I think! It’s fascinating to quietly guess what it is each person does or where they’re from. We’ve decided to stop guessing today and just ask.
John from Cambridge
After expecting to be amazed by peoples of the world, ironically the first person we said hello to was an Englishman! We met John on the Millennium Bridge, leaning on the rail, taking in the view. John is an accountant and has worked in the City of London for 15 years, although he doesn’t live in London, rather he commutes 80 miles each day from Cambridge. John’s daily journey, one way into London “takes two hours, door to door.”
We popped the question we were experimenting with today: What’s so good about London?
“The good thing about London is there’s lots going on; it’s a very busy city. You can stop and have a chat with so many interesting people, like yourselves! Which is nice. Anyone visiting for just one day, what would I recommend seeing? Let’s see. St Paul’s Cathedral.”
A little further on we thought we would try again, this time picking out quite clearly an oriental face.
Bess, from Hong Kong
Although Bess was visiting from Hong Kong today, she is no stranger to London. The UK was home for five years up to 2012, when she studied Business Management at university in Surrey. She returned home to Hong Kong after completing her studies, but returned just eight days ago for a short holiday and to visit friends.
“The best thing about London is that it’s classic,” says Bess. “For me it’s good to be back. The Shard is awesome. I’ve just come from having a good breakfast there on the 31st floor. The views are great and the staff are really nice.
“The main difference between Hong Kong and London; in Hong Kong people don’t know how to relax. When I go back to [another place I know in England] St Austell (Cornwall) the people there they can relax for the whole day. In the UK this is good; it’s good to have a balance. In Hong Kong they are always thinking of business, all the time.”
More people stories from London to come – sign up by email to be the first to know when they are posted.