London was not at all what I expected it to be. I expected it to be a capital with high buildings and choked with big brands. But to my nice happy gleeful surprise it wasn't. Thanks to our hosts Sunil, Bansi, and Diti, London became a city of some meaning. I especially appreciated their preservation of heritage and public communication and design. London in Black and White (below) was inspired by an exhibition of photographs of London through the decades since the 1800s. London also inspired a new public design blog to be started by me and a few friends to collect bits and pieces of public design concepts from cities, towns, and villages across the world, to perhaps someday be implemented in our own cities.
And the English are right in discussing the weather all the time :) I also understood better why they honed to the northern hill stations of India for their place of recreation.
London's multiculturalism is remarkable. In London I was happy to taste Ghanian food which sent me back twenty years to the spice of Liberia. It was strange, this London. At times, I could swear I was in India. At others, I was as far from home as I could be. It's fitting that this post is on Independence Day. Here's to influence.