Posted by / Category Cultural Differences, London, Stereotypes /

If this year was any indication of where things are heading, then I am hungry for you, 2018. What a year! It has been a steep learning curve for me, but I feel like things are nicely taking shape. So what were the main takeaways for me?

Apparently, I am glamorous. I still don’t understand why. Especially now that I am a year older (but aren’t we all?)

Being French, people seems to believe that I have a natural sense of style. In fact, I don’t. I happen to be a Signalling Engineer  turned lawyer (for the record it’s even worse than it sounds). But if it makes them happy, it can’t be that bad, right?…So what’s the secret? Well, listen carefully: the secret is that there is no secret. Naively, I thought that things would get easier as I got older. But no, I am still getting a lot more attention that I should/would like to. Yep, even at my ripe age (I feel 24 anyway).

In 2017 (just like the other years, really),  I received inappropriate pictures on Twitter, a few love declarations, and was also asked for an ID when I bought some Nurofen at my local supermarket. Same old, same old, really. Some things will never change. Frankly, I have given up understanding them. Onwards and upwards and all that.

I love London, but I miss the sun. After all, I grew up near Saint Tropez

I love London. I really do. I especially like walking in London, because you never know what you will discover. London has many different layers; it is simply impossible to get bored there. For instance, if you go for some shopping in Brick Lane you will be amazed at the fantastic graffitis all over the facades. It is mind blowing. You need to keep your eyes open when you are walking: suddenly, you see a pitted wall, because it was bombed during WW2, or a blue plaque explaining that someone you admire used to live here. It is all about keeping an open mind! London is also a maze. Wander through the street of Mayfair, and turn in a narrow dark alley. You will find some of the oldest pubs of England. Relax, have some gin. The time has stopped…There is nothing quite like getting lost in London!

That said, right now things are gloomy in London. It’s dark, cold and grey. I used to love the energy of my adoptive city, but I must admit that things have taken a turn for the worse over the last two to three years. There is an inward looking approach that I don’t like. I am also sick and tired of being patronised all the time, especially by dinosaurs who don’t seem to understand that the world has changed since Victorian times, and somehow never miss an opportunity to lecture me. I am tired of being judged by the very same people who, for some reason, always seem to be in positions of power. They protect each other and move in the same circles, giving each other access to exclusive clubs, gold-platted pensions and chocolate medals. They never take a risk but systematically judge those who do, or those who dare to be slightly different. I have lived in London for almost 15 years, but still I’m baffled by this fixation with background, schools, cutlery and tea. Simply put, London has lost its mojo. Maybe it’s time for a change. Which is why I am spending Christmas in Australia, and loving it…We went to the beach today, and I am pleased to report that I rocked my swimsuit. I feel still a tad too shy to put my bikini on with the perfectly tanned beach bodies all around me but watch this space. I should get there by the end of the hols.

I am older but none the wiser

Will I ever learn? Probably not. That’s just me, I suppose. I still have no intention of ‘acting like an adult’. In fact, I am always looking for somebody more adult than me. Being wise is boring, if you ask me. Completely overrated. I will continue, well, being me, warts and all. This means, for instance, that I will continue to run. Maybe for even longer distances. Oh, and for the first time ever – because I am a year older, my marathon time should be fast enough to get qualified for the Boston marathon. I feel like I now belong to a running elite. Am v v proud. So much to look forward to!

As I am writing this post from a coffee shop in Sydney, a boat is coming next to the pier. The guy is going to the pizza place to order some pizza for his family and “mates”. I can’t believe it. He is taking it back to its boat now. Off he goes. “Ripper”!

So bring it on, 2018!