Tuesday, April 26, 2011

V is for Victoria

There can be no arc of development between the times I lived abroad. I was not a small Channeltown boy who moved to the city and came home only once. I was a visitor, a tourist, even as I ate handmade sandwiches from a local vendor and drank English beer. Only a tourist can really love a place, because only a tourist can see a place as it really is instead of how it was or how it was meant to be. My affair with England was perfect: passionate and brief, and I long to return largely because there is little opportunity to do so. I was someone else in England, which is to say that I was truly myself. I was a true cosmopolitan, unaware almost to the end that Victoria Station did not serve the whole of the island, but only the area southeast of the city. I traveled to London to see all of England, and learned my lesson so well that when I returned I hardly left Bloomsbury. The British Museum is the world entire. I will never go back again.

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