A few weeks ago, when we put a veneer of public participation on our very centrally-controlled blog by inviting you, our readers to help us name our blog, one of many clever suggestions was the name “Better Camouflage.” It was, presumably a reference to the fact that we might stand out a bit less in the UK than in Uganda.
But it turns out there really is no camouflage for London. London is not just a diverse city (like Los Angeles or Chicago), but a truly global city (even more so than New York, I would argue) with people from virtually every country speaking all sorts of languages with all sorts of accents, and engaging in all sorts of cultural practices. Even most of the British people I’ve met here so far aren’t actually from London.
Of course all this is well known about London, but what that means ‘on the ground’ is that one doesn’t really stand out in London because one can’t ‘fit in’. To engage the metaphor of camouflage, London isn’t a forest (where one could blend in); it’s a veritable botanical garden of humanity. I’m sure if I decided to wear lederhosen and speak in a Ugandan accent, no one would bat an eye.
And I’m sure there’s somewhere in London that sells lederhosen…