Love At First Sight … for London

If you’ve caught how I feel about London as the greatest city on earth, I have not actually posted anything about this city I am living in. So I think it’s about time. Even if I may not even scratch the surface.

I came to London in May 2011 — first time in London, first time in Europe, and I instantly fell in love with it. It wasn’t the easiest time to be in the UK. The country has fallen into recession and visa regulations are harsh. But there I was anyway, managed to slip through the crack.

I did not know anything about London the first time I came here. In fact I knew very little about Europe. Did not know that the UK consists of four kingdoms and Ireland was divided into two. Did not know Spain share border with France. Did not know that Stonehenge was located in England.

The first week I landed in London, I walked the city every single day from morning until evening. I got Top 10 London guide book from the hotel I stayed in. And then I walked and walked, discovering one majestic building after another. Eyes opened wide with wonderment while trying to keep my jaw off the floor.

There is something about that first wonder of seeing a new city. The following were the photos I took that first week. (click to enlarge)

changing guard at Buckingham Palace

Changing guard at Buckingham Palace. Buckingham Palace was the very first spot that I visited.

Buckingham Palace guards

Buckingham Palace guards

London policemen

London policemen

Toy Guards at the Guard Museum Shop

Toy Guards at the Guard Museum Shop

Royal Wedding merchandise

The Royal Wedding was just held a week before I arrived

Piccadilly Circus Underground

Piccadilly Circus Underground – still the circus fitting its name

Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly

Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly

Soho Square

Soho Square. Soho is where I work – the coolest spot on the planet :)

Mock Tudor House

Mock Tudor House. I got obsessed about the Tudors (the royal line) for a while – and probably still am now.

Chinatown London

Chinatown London – one of the first thing I was looking for, to make sure I could get all the Asian ingredients that I need!

artist in Leicester Square

artist in Leicester Square

countdown to Olympic at Trafalgar Square

countdown to the Olympic at Trafalgar Square


Southbank bridge – the original version of the tiny Melbourne Southbank :)

Albert Memorial

Albert Memorial (watch Young Victoria if you have not)

V&A Museum

V&A Museum – the most romantic museum ever (did I tell you to watch Young Victoria?)

the centerpiece at V&A museum

the centerpiece at V&A museum – an absolute favorite

London underground

London underground

Neal's Yard

Neal’s Yard – the most colorful nook in London

Shad Thames

Shad Thames – historic warehouse complex next to Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge – snapped in the one minute the sun was out

I went through difficult time in the past few weeks. Vfx industry is hurting around the world, and my company is hurting too. There was a chance that I would lose my job. While that would’ve been really bad, the thought that I had to leave London saddened me the most. My body was literally hurting, thinking that I had to leave this city that I love so very much.

Fortunately things are looking up. Some of us dodged the bullet and we got to live another day. This post is part love letter, part wish, that I can keep staying here. Every day I pray hard and cross all my fingers, that I am given more time, even if it’s just a little while longer.

Here’s to more wonderful days in the greatest city on earth! :)

Parliament House at night

My London in 2012

The Traveling Reader
I left home when I was 17 and never stop exploring the world since. Most days I'm a digital technician at one of the London's biggest visual effects studio. My alternate persona writes and travels and dreams of doing these as a living. I alternately call myself Indonesian or Australian whichever is more beneficial at the time, and I've been a Londoner since 2011.