Monday, 9 November 2009

Something I'll Miss about London

At last, I've got something: London taxis. The only taxis in the world where I never feel I'm about to die in a terrible accident. I'm not convinced this is due to the drivers' skills so much as the design of the taxis, which doesn't allow for hooning. The worst taxis I've been in so far in the world would have to be in Shanghai - I'd love to go back there again but I'm scared of dying on the journey to or from the airport. There is a New Yorker article by Peter Hessler about learning to drive in China that explains why. There must be other things I'll miss - but not the weather or the food or the people or the cafes or even much of the architecture - thanks not only to the last war but also to the post-war planners' vandalism, as outlined in a wonderful book called Lost London, which too kindly describes some of the worst decisions as 'idealism'. So many bad things have been done thanks to idealism. And I certainly won't miss bed and breakfasts where you're forced to sit with other people for breakfast.

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