One of the first things to come to mind as I wondered around Munich was oh my how quiet this city is. It’s 11am local time and I’ve arrive in Zurich, there is the frequent rumble of tyres on road and light whirling of engines, there are the planes over head but the most noticeable thing again Is how quite it is, how sparsely populated the station was and how light everything feels, like Munich.
This is probably not true however, it’s is the false impression caused by a relative view. It is not quiet in Zurich or Munich, it’s rammed, noisy sensory overload of London that stand most places in such stark contrast.
Having lived in London for around 3 years I moved to Liverpool briefly – only a little time in i returned to ealing the area id lived in and was struck back with the wall of people, the bustle and sheer ant heapness of it all.
I really like London – as a child I did not but since my time working in Westminster that mind was changed. The things to do on nights out, the grand old buildings, the randomness of the place, south bank on the Thames, I’ve not come across a city to come close to comparing as yet.. The nearest wax New York but it lacked the natural beauty and the range/breadth of variety and bizarreness that loiters within the folds of London. Zurich is the place I’ve always liked most of all without rational to back this up and this morning the quiet seems most glaring indeed.
The difference is both a tangible one and a subjective, I’m not sure to what extent they are intertwined. London still after all this time has the ability to almost make me wide eyed, it’s interesting, lively and beautiful (though not reliably or evenly so) while Zurich is calmness, still of a warm blanket even when it’s not at its warmest (as now)
My two London friends that were, no longer really are – Oscar is getting married this year and has slipped comfortably in to a different phase of his life, while the other trundles about many places and before that even we’d grown apart.
So while the evenings out, the concerts, the pub conversations until the early hours & that which London offers so well (so long as you have the means) still exist, they belong more to acquaintance socialising and the past times.
Zurich remains Zurich, it has no jazz hands, I’m tempted to hope.