changing cities // conquering cities

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

About Katerina

Katerina is a Google Developer Expert for Angular and a software engineer, focused on the web front end. Her projects focus on interactivity, web maps and new technologies. She also likes to mix and match web APIs, experimenting with device sensors, and she open sources her code for the general good. She speaks at international conferences and co-organizes the Angular Athens meetup. She is also involved with supporting diversity in the community, speaking about it and helping the ngGirls whenever she can. Katerina is obsessed with sharing knowledge and spreading the word about things she loves, which is all that has to do with web. She is indigenous to the internet, and she loves web development. So much that she does not understand the distinction between work and life sometimes. Or so her friends say. She lives with her Maine Coon in Athens, Greece.

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