I rarely feel at home, and to feel at home, I have to be familiar with the place that has to feel like home. I get very personally attached to spaces and places and houses and rooms, and anything that defines space. I have difficulty changing habitat, not in settling in, but in feeling the new place as my home. Actually, not even that. I have difficulty in feeling safe and dominant in a place, if I don’t know it like the back of my hand. I have difficulty in feeling that I have “conquered” a place, if I don’t know every street, every get-away passage, all the emergency exits, the way out and the way in. Be it a house, or a building or a neighborhood or the whole city. In the last 25 years, that is, my whole life, I have been living in Athens, Greece. In the same house. Since then I have explored the whole city. A few years ago I realized how large Athens is, and how much is yet to be seen, how infinite it is, so I started searching for anything I had not discovered yet in the city. And started reading about its history. It took me 25 years, and still, I am sure, is so much more to see. I have travelled a lot around the world, but I have realized now that the trip within a city is never ending. Now I can brag about how well I know Athens.
So when I moved in London, the transition was hard. During the three months I have lived here, I feel I know well one part of the city, and have already started having specific routes that I follow every day, or every Saturday. Still London remains huge and unknown. To my mind it is not only a terra incognita, it is more of a terra pericolosa, undiscovered and dangerous. But, just how big London is I have not realized yet. Since the day I came here I have been trying to get to know London. I have posted maps on my walls of different scales and I read them all day, to have the picture engraved in my mind, like the map of Athens is, now. Up until now I have developed a good sense of orientation when I am in the street. I know which way is which place. But what I lack in and what I have also been trying to understand is the difference in the scale of the city.
___to be continued