Arriving in London was like a dream. I never forgot, in fact I consciously reminded myself several times, I had just stepped off a plan from AFRICA and the logic of my excitement for a Western European international city landed me somewhere between absurd and schizophrenic. I have nearly 1500 photos of insane African wildlife awaiting perusal on my laptop but the feeling I get when for the first time I hear someone tell me to “mind the gap” makes my head spin. London! The home of some of my favorite authors and birthplace of more literature than will ever fit on my kindle.
As we rolled along the tube (the tube!) I tried to keep my idiotic grin in check. What’s the big deal anyway? I asked myself. Looking around: earbuds in, newspapers out, on the way to work, it reminds me of San Francisco. But on closer inspection this is better. When the doors open we aren’t inundated with a claustrophobic underground hole of a station, but somehow we seem to be in a lovely little village, trim gardens, quaint brownstones and birds, actual birds (not those flying rats we have back home), singing like we’re all in a damn Disney movie. Is this real life?
Everyone is incredibly friendly, chatting us up and spouting off recommendations with genuine interest. I almost fell over and died on the spot when one of them proclaimed, “Cheerio!” in parting. Don’t get me wrong, I loved every minute of Africa, but I think we just landed in my heaven.