The global city

October 15, 2008

Today I was reading an interesting article about London. It stated, that London is, without a doubt, the capital of the world. Apparently there are over 300 spoken languages and the most international calls worldwide, every day. London attracts all different sorts of people, a lot of them surely for financial reasons. (let´s forget the financial crisis for a moment). I remember a cab ride I had a couple of weeks ago, with an London born driver, who had indian roots. He told me that he hates London, people are unfriendly, cold and mean. So I asked him, why do you live here? And he answered, for the same reason as you, because of the money.

From the russian oligarchs in Chelsea, to the africans immigrants in Brixton and the art crowd in the East End, there are so many worlds coexisting next to each other, that it seems, this could be a modell for a heterogeneous society. The question is, how far can this be streched, if all of these worlds never really touch each other? It´s not really a cooperation, it´s more a toleration, as long as everyone doesn´t get too close. Every day I leave my african neighbourhood, travel through busy train stations, with smartly dressed people hurrying to work, enter an incredibly wealthy world, where people have dog walkers, get in touch with wired and fucked up people, and at times catch a bit of german or french on the tube. which takes me back home. This is exciting, sometimes tiring and yes, maybe how the world will be one day. For now I just enjoy being able to travel between all this bits, without even having to use a plane.

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