London: A town where cultures clash
Hey guys, back again with another blog. I recently came across this article from Jalopnik – a very popular car enthusiast site. It talks about a recent event where an exotic car owner had an egg thrown at them. And here we go again, Main Street vs Wall Street. Here we go again with the melodrama. Fortunately though, today I won’t be talking about class warfare per se, as that topic deserves a whole blog on its own. Today, I’ll be addressing my issue with this article as they spin this event into class warfare when in actuality is a deeper issue in London – a clash between two cultures – the residents and the frequent tourists from Saudi Arabia, the Guelph. It is my duty (or I’d like to believe) to aware the audience of ‘Throughthatdoor’ about what is really going on in London. And I think the documentary called ‘Millionaire Boy Racers’ broadcasted on Channel4.com tells a compelling story.
Within the past decade, there has been a huge surge of wealth in the middle eastern countries. The ‘Saudis’ would frequently visit London in particular during the summers to flee the desert heat, and the overall social repression that their country enforces. In their country, social interaction between men and women outside the family are often discouraged, alcohol/smoking is prohibited and there are no casinos, bars, or clubs. So, London – the central capital of Britain is the perfect nest for the deprived young adults to visit during the summer.
However, though they bring money to London’s economy – the hotels, the local shops, the restaurants – they also bring their very fast, loud exotic cars. To a car enthusiast like myself, I would be thrilled to see the streets of Toronto flooded with them; however, the residents of London thinks otherwise. The residents think of these tourists as reckless, obnoxious people. The cars would be heard revving late into the nights and they would be breaking speed limits within residential areas. To the residents, these tourists are dangerous and pose a threat to the tranquility and safety of their town.
So is this still a problem of class warfare? Or is it a clash between cultures. One of the exotic car owner interviewed in the documentary said he would often go into a coffee shop and come out finding gum and spit on his car. Another owner said people are jealous, they ask and assume that it is their parent’s wealth that affords them these cars and and perhaps it is true, but it’s not the type of questions he wanted to be asked. So perhaps there is a story to be told about class warfare but this article (I feel) is trying to fuel a war that is really between the unfortunates and the misinformed. I suppose the next suitable blog should be about: “Why the government saved the banks and not your pension” or something of that degree.
Links to documentary and article: