I was sad to leave London yesterday. I never expected to say that… for two reasons. The first has nothing to do with London. Though I hopefully made it look like fun, the experience of doing the Olympics is so grueling that, when its over, you can't wait to leave whatever city you were in for it…and never come back. It usually has nothing to do with the city itself (ok, maybe with the exception of Vancouver.) The second reason is that my past experiences with Londoners haven't been very pleasant and and often ended in misunderstandings for reasons I could never figure out. I always chalked it up to language and customs differences - so i had some hesitation about what a month in London could end up being like. Maybe the low expectations helped, because this is the first time I've ever left an Olympic city sooner than I wanted to. I found London to be very welcoming, and the people ridiculously friendly. I know there was a big official push by organizers to encourage people to be friendly - but I don't think it was just that. People seemed genuinely interested and happy to have you there. As hellish as the schedules are, and as fried as we get, at the end we're always sad when an Olympics is over. This time it was even more so. So thank you, London. Its been great knowing you under these long and strange circumstances. You really rolled out the welcome mat, and we felt it. I never expected to be sad to leave you, but hopefully I'll see you again. Cheers.
[note: apologies for blog posts before June 2009 that may not be correctly formatted]