Live8, Olympic Games, terrorist attacks. A different summer in London.
Two thousand and five folks.
But July wasn't just Live8.
Few days ago they made a big decision about the city which was going to host the 2012 Olympic Games. The big race involved 5 big cities like New York, Moscow, Madrid, Paris and London, but the real duel was only between the last two. London won and big celebrations started in Trafalgar Square.
Well, what does it mean to the live of a Londoner anyway?
Fortunately the new Olympic village will be developed in the east territories, miles away from the relaxing neighborhood (only one teenager killed in the last 2 years, as far as I can remember) where I live. But I'm already thinking about the works to get this city suitable to organize such a huge event. The roads in London are narrow, and the intricate streets system (no logic whatsoever behind it) makes it terrible for traffic. Imagine 1 million more people coming for a month to find the city system paralyzed. They will probably create a new tube line (The Olympic Line?), new buses and new tricks. And maybe they will finally lift the ban over the 11am closing time for pubs.
Shall I stay 7 more years here to live the Olympic Dream? Do I care? Well, I love the Olympic games and I like London. Maybe I'll just go away and come back in 2011...
Only 24 hours after the victory for the Olympic Games, the joy for 2012 has been completely washed out by e terrorist attack. A terrorist attack. In London.
Before moving here I knew the history of London and the problems with the IRA. They bombed some places before, so it was probably just a matter of time before the next attack. Since the 9/11 and the war on Iraq, I remembered reading articles about the concern of a terrorist attack. But all sounded so stupid, so impossible.
And now this. People died and many are injured.
They hit 6 tube stations and a bus. French revenge because they lost the games? Attack on G8? (so why don't just bomb Edinburgh?) A long time ago planned terrorist attack? Nobody knows for sure right now.
But the reaction has been superb.
Probably if you live in London, you were expecting it.
I've never received so many text message, emails or phone calls from people worried about my situation, asking if I was alive (no, I'm dead, but God lets me use my mobile up here). Well, I live and work miles away and I use my bicycle to move around so I guess I'm ok.
Everyone remembers you when tragedy happens. It's a nice feeling.
But I'm sad. Only yesterday everyone was proud of being a Londoner, even just for piss off the French, now all around me is silence, and everyone keeps his head down and he's working as usual.
What a fucking summer. What a fucked up 2005.
One final update, from the Mayor Statement
Finally, I wish to speak directly to those who came to London today to take life.
I know that you personally do not fear giving up your own life in order to take others - that is why you are so dangerous. But I know you fear that you may fail in your long-term objective to destroy our free society and I can show you why you will fail.
In the days that follow look at our airports, look at our sea ports and look at our railway stations and, even after your cowardly attack, you will see that people from the rest of Britain, people from around the world will arrive in London to become Londoners and to fulfil their dreams and achieve their potential.
They choose to come to London, as so many have come before because they come to be free, they come to live the life they choose, they come to be able to be themselves. They flee you because you tell them how they should live. They don't want that and nothing you do, however many of us you kill, will stop that flight to our city where freedom is strong and where people can live in harmony with one another.
Whatever you do, however many you kill, you will fail.
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