jeudi 19 août 2010

Nostalgia para Londres

I never realized how wonderful my life was in this greatest English speaking City in the world-as a student, first in Medicine and then second time in Cultural Anthropology.
It is as if nothing has changed outwardly but every thing has changed. I walk along the streets as familiar to me as they were during my student days, the streets are cleaner, the buildings crisp and shiny, the people definitely far friendlier ( I will give a cultural explanation for that later)
Took a bus ride along the memory lane for me--on the right the Oz embassy, on the left the bridge to the south bank, the Zim embassy, BBC house, South Africa House, National Gallery where i had spent hours as a student scrutinizing one room after another, the goiters on Rubens' paintings intrigued me at that time, Malaysia Tourism Office with a large Malaysian flag flying on top, Canada House.. How many times I have entered these various Houses!
I particularly remember, while I was studying Medicine here, protesting in front of the South African Embassy, looking at my watch, I told the fellow next to me, Do you mind holding my placard? I have a flight to catch to Australia...In the last year of my medical studies, I did five round trips between Melbourne, Australia and London. London reinforced my love for Australia, for I realized that the best of Australia had roots in this magnificent city, I am sure an aging Barry Humphries would agree..
MH via Koweit and Kuala lumpur to Australia
Qantas via Bombay and Perth
Many many long flights with multiple stops, those stops meant so little at that time, KL or Singpour didnt interest me, my interest was my destination, my home, Melbourne, Australia..
I arrived at CDG from KL yesterday and today I am in London, and I have never been happier with an arrival.. (except of course my beloved Cuba).
This city had given me so much knowledge, Physical Diagnosis taught by astute clinicians, a wonderful introduction to Medical Anthropology by Cecil Helman (Olav Ha Shalom), a teacher who later became a friend.
I live close by, these days. 2 h 24 minutes by Eurostar, after this visit you can be sure that you would see my face often at the Restos, Bookstores, Theatres at this most interesting English speaking city in the world.
I feel that this euphoria is a gift for the rain and the mud amidst the efforts to find the girls of Chaungtha Beach in Myanmar just this past week, and the successful bid to bring the future to them.
PS The friendliness of London must have to do with the complete integration of many of the immigrants from various ex colonies who are now solidly British with an added spice of their individual cultures. Today, the junior bank officer who helped me was from Birmingham but with a distant ancestral memory from the Sub Continent.. She was very pleasant and efficient... This is the New London for you. Bienvenidos/ Bem Vindo/Bienvennue/Welcome