In 2008 I moved to London and I lived there for 2 years, before moving to Brighton. I had never lived in a metropolis before and I was quite overwhelmed at first. The amount of noise, non stop..the amount of people, the aggressive way..you have to walk through the city at a certain pace, with an attitude to not get knocked over, having to fight your way into the bus or underground…But London has a real charm too, there is a buzz, a vibe of creativity and new development that simply is amazing. You gotta find your niche, your place to flourish, if you manage to do that, London will be the best place ever.
I lived in Camberwell Green, and I really enjoyed my time there. I especially remember the culture shock that I did not see coming. I expected it to be just another European city, but because the differences are subtle it hits your harder. The pound, a.m. and p.m., driving on the left side of the road, stone, foot, inch, mile, buying a round and no one seems to speak BBC english (lol)..
I had never really seen so many homeless people. On my way to work I would pass through Elephant and Castle and when walking through the tunnels I would always see people sleeping rough. One day in particular will be with me always. It was winter, freezing cold and I was rushing to work. I saw a young girl sitting, crouched against the wall in the tunnel. She looked cold and anxious. I bought a hot chocolate and gave it to her.. we had a brief chat. I said, how old are you dear? 16… do you have any friends or family around here? She said she had ran away from home because her stepdad was abusive to her and her mum.. I could not believe it. When we talked a bit more she said she new some people in London that she would try to contact that day. I can’t remember if I gave her some money or not..I was just so shocked, i did not know how to respond (having grown up in this safe bubble in the Netherlands). In hindsight I feel terrible for not having taken her to a cafe, or just to my home..for a shower, a rest..figure out an organization together to help her…I mean she was just a young girl..
When I hear this music by Sam Maher, I think back of London and sitting on the bus or underground for so many hours, seeing the city and its people pass by.
This is an impression of the girl I met in the tunnel, this brief meeting touched me deeply.
I always try to give a bit of background to my drawings, to show what motivated or inspired me. Sharing bits in ‘journal style’ alongside my drawings helps me reflect on past experiences. I’m looking forward to focus on improving my writing style, maybe go a bit deeper, but my gorgeous 2 toddlers (Awa 2yrs and Saliou 4yrs) love to keep me busy at all times. So for now I’ll keep it short 🙂
Thanks so much for your visit, would love to hear your feedback or shared experiences.
Much Love and Peace
and Jummah Mubarak, Happy Friday!
p.s. Always aiming to post twice a week on Monday and Thursday! So a bit late today 🙂 See you Monday!