Lucas Enrique Fernandez

Gill’s A Profile of London


In A.A. Gill’s A Profile in London, through his expansive knowledge and witty down-to-earth word choice, Gill provides the reader an explanation of why it is better not to do the most touristy things in London. Instead of idling at these tourist attractions, he recommends a plethora of other spots that locals prefer.

We all look at the crowds of tourists on the Mall and think: What is it you see? What do you get out of this? Like every Londoner I know, I’ve never seen the changing of the guard. It’s an inconvenient traffic snarl-up every weekday morning.

This quote captures part of the essence of why many despise tourists. They are a nuisance that takes up space and are so fixated on “sightseeing” that they never actually see anything about the place they travel to.

Another main point in Gill’s article is that many outsider’s perception of London is incorrect and formulated from an old lens. When you go to London you see that it is more diverse than you would imagine and many of your preconceptions about the area end up being false. I believe this holds true for travel across any place. When people travel, they do so often for the purpose of fulfilling a desire to see the old preconceptions of the intended area they made up in their heads. This is why people want to see The Great Pyramids or the London Eye. These landmarks are remnants of past times that do not change, so the tourist will fixate on these things rather than the changing area and culture that surrounds them. This is why I agree that the tourist should take it upon themselves to stray from the tourist attractions and preconceptions in their heads and “think like a local” so they can go to areas where they will see another type of beauty and experience culture.

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