Whenever I mentioned to anyone before I went away that I was going to London, they invariably said "how unoriginal". شنو فيها لندن غير اجوار رود؟ said one idiot who I almost strangled.
Of course, that's because most Kuwaitis don't know anything in London beyond the area around Hyde Park, from Edgware Road to Marble Arch to Oxford Street.. and - if you have a bit more taste, not necessarily more money - to Knightsbridge and Kensington. Piccadilly and Leicester Square for entertainment, and then maybe Covent Garden which some would actually consider an adventure, or a day trip in itself! And for hip Kuwaitis "in the know", there's Notting Hill.
But there is so much to see and do in London beyond what I just listed. It truly is one of the world's greatest cities, and it is made of several neighborhoods that function as little towns attached to each other. I am fortunate to have friends scattered around London, so I got to visit them in Hampstead, the East End and Battersea and many places far off the Kuwaiti radar.
The weather was phenomenal. The August heatwave everyone was dreading never materialized, and I spent as much time outdoors as I possibly could in perfect sunny temperatures. I kept daydreaming about buying a small place and moving there, until the one day it rained and I changed my mind. I hate rain!
I didn't see that many Kuwaitis other than the few that I know, but I did see tons of Emaratis stalking the streets of Knightsbridge, trying to decide whether to have their 5 pm "lunch" at Harrods pizzeria or the 5th floor cafe at Harvey Nichols. A study in anthropology, I assure you.
I also went to Copenhagen for a few days. More about that later...
I'm just mad I missed the Mona Taleb/Sundus AbulHassan showdown at the Sheraton Park Tower!