Lately, people have been asking me why I gave everything up in London and moved to Italy. So I decided to answer the question here.
Moving destination and making a career move at the same time was a challenging task. I used to be in the financial sector, though now I work in the education sector. I worked and lived in the centre of London, even though I was used to living in the country. When I moved to Italy, I moved to the country. So, I got used to life here quite quickly. You see, I was born and bred in the country, surrounded by nature. So I got used to living in the country fairly quickly, though it took a little longer to get used to the Italian lifestyle. Nonetheless, it was worth it and it is certainly still something I will always value.
Let me talk about the typical daily routine in London. Most people commute into London every morning. Some travelling by car, others by train or other forms of transport. However, distances and times vary considerably, with some commuters travelling for up to 3 hours or more a day in total.
At a typical time in the morning, these commuters peel themselves from their comfortable beds and, in some zombie-like fashion, enter the bathroom. Still in their sleepy state they stand under the shower until full consciousness returns.
A croissant is generally consumed while walking down the road or driving to the station, the ritual coffee in a polystyrene cup in the other hand. While the newspaper is wedged under the arm, even if most people read the digital editions now, there are some die-hard traditionalists.
On arrival to the terminal station, like cattle to the slaughter, the commuters are channelled through barriers and into abattoirs to be butchered brutally for the next 8 to 10 hours, or should I say channelled into their workplaces.
Lunchtime is always a frenetic rush to the nearest sandwich shop or public house to grab the most convenient type of fuel they can get their hands on. You see, for most people in England, food is a fuel. Yet, in Italy food is a ritual which should never be rushed when ingested.
Like clockwork, at the end of the day, the surviving “cattle” peel out of their stalls and into the nearest wine bar, gastropub, or restaurant, occasionally going out directly from work in a week day, though almost always without fail on a Friday.
Fridays were a chaotic fusion of a broad range of city folk, hustling and bustling around the metropolis in search of some haven after a stressful week at work, a release from a hard day at University, or simply to explore new places as a tourist.
For this reason, I miss London dreadfully. You could go to the same place every night and things would always be different, refreshing and invigorating. The copious amount of people moving around London was excuse enough to always be out and about enjoying what it has to offer, and I tell you, it has an unlimited amount to offer the adventurous social-junkie.
Do you know it has 241 theatres in London with over 110,000 seats? Attendance over the year being 22 million theatre-goers.
How many pubs does London have in your opinion? From my research, 4,500 drinking establishments which fall under this category.
Can you imagine, more or less, how many restaurants there are?
There are 17,000 restaurants in London of which 49 are celebrity restaurants, 66 have Michelin stars. The most expensive restaurant having a cover charge of £190.00 a head. Do you know how much we normal common folk spend? This comes out at an average of £60.00, which as an average is pretty high. How often do we eat out each week? We dine out on average 3.7 times a week.
Another popular social escape people enjoy is clubbing. No, this is not beating innocent animals with a baseball bat, but going out to nightclubs or discos. London hosts 337 nightclubs and a total of 2,143 bars. That is a lot of alcohol and certainly a lot of people who go to them. Well, according to several articles, the nightclub scene is allegedly dying.
I remember when I was in London, the nightclub scene was very much alive. You were spoilt for choice. Sometimes having the freedom of choice, thus causing the demise of some smaller clubs. They just couldn’t compete with the big fish.
However, the government cracked down on underage drinking, drugs in nightclubs and dealers, violence and crime. They also put the pressure on noise pollution, causing clubs to get hit with enormous fines.
All this put a lot of people off going to clubs and very quickly the live band or local pub deejays became favoured over a dark and sweaty nightclub. Concerts took a new interest with the new generations and Summer in London was always exciting.
Nonetheless, I became bored of doing the same thing: pub; club; Indian restaurant; late night, and pub on Sunday for a game of darts, pool or snooker.
So I made the decision. Life began here in Italy and I look back on the metropolitan life as a learning curve. Yes, it is fun. Yes it is invigorating. You probably have more open mind on life as you experience a wide range of different cultures, events and general happenings in your environment.
However, the peace and tranquility, the pace of life and the possibility to walk out of my door and be in touch with nature is something I will never change for the world.
As I humbly close this article, I pay homage to all those who have chosen the metropolis. I don’t envy your life, though I don’t hope that you envy mine. We all choose our lifestyle because we have different outlooks on life, different needs. The most important thing in life is that you are happy with that choice.
Thanks for reading.
I really hope to see you in my classroom very soon.
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