Assessing London

I came back yesterday from the UK. I visited London, Edinburgh, and spent one night in Glasgow. 

I totally enjoyed the trip. Being in a place where everyone speaks English makes a big difference. Also the British are more smiley, chatty, and socially aware than the vibe I am getting in Berlin.

Maybe the socially aware point is a bit vague. It is hard to explain but for me it is being aware of the surrounding and proactively managing the situation. I normally observe this feeling in how/when people offer their help with something.

On the flip side the three cities I visited are far behind in infrastructure compared to Berlin. London public transit system is not accessible. Buses are small, allowing them to take maximum one wheelchair at a time. In Berlin buses are bigger, can take two, sometimes three wheelchairs at the same time.

London tube is much worse. The default is non-accessible stops. In a big city like London, it makes things much harder for people like myself.

I imagine the accessible housing situation is equally bad. Most of the city is old. Berlin is still being built which creates more accessible housing opportunities for people such as myself.

I still loved it, but not sure if I would want to live there. I normally look for three factors when assessing a new city.

1) Career Opportunities

I believe London wins on that one. The big 5 have development offices there. There are more startup deals and funding than any other European city.

2) People accessibility

London wins because of the language. I do understand the arguments of people being easy on the outside and hard on the inside. But I still think if one understands the language, it becomes a question of the effort you put into blending with the people around you.

3) Accessibility

Berlin wins by big margin. And it is getting even better over time.

I am not thinking of moving, but for me this was a good eye opener into the London situation and what are the options if I decided to move out of Berlin.

Hello London

I am in London for a short visit. It is my first time.

It feels good to be in a place where English is the default.

I always say I am operating at 50% of my social capacity in Germany because of the language.

It feels different when you understand what’s happening around you. The signs, the announcements, and the side talks.