I cannot explain this attraction. I try to explain it with references to London’s traits and qualities: its multiculturalism that makes an outsider feel an artificial sense of home, its literary history and associations, its historical architecture. These reasons, however, have never felt adequate enough in explaining why I love this city. It is a feeling that I can only describe, but not explain. London makes me feel like I am in the centre of the world; like I am on the top of the world; and this infatuation makes me forget, if only momentarily, the harsh truth that no, I really don’t belong here, not right now. Not yet, anyway. Not legally.
As I packed up the final evidence of my former life in London, I felt the vague presence of an unwillingness to let go. A product of sentimentality, no doubt, for there was nothing left to hold on to. And yet, there it was: 我真的好舍不得离开。