Another work trip to, this time to London, and of course it’s for my main man, Mark Wahlberg, and sweetheart, Josh Duhamel! A visit to the Transformers: The Last Knight world – oops, I mean global – premiere (don’t know the difference, but apparently there is one). I was stoked to see them again after having done a set visit for the film a year ago in Detroit, as well as attending the world premiere for Transformers: Age of Extinction in Hong Kong three years ago – that’s right, during the torrential downpour on the red carpet… Yikes!
When I told my parents I was going to London, their first reaction was sheer panic: “Is it safe?” “Maybe you shouldn’t go!” “What if there is another terrorist attack?” Well, sadly, they were right. About 40 minutes away from where I was, a mosque was attacked on Sunday at midnight with one confirmed death and many injured.
What is happening in London? Upon arrival, there is definitely a sense of fear, but also a strong feeling of not giving up with signs everyone stating “All Are Welcome.”
When I had just arrived, I had a couple hours to spare before the screening of the film, so I got on the subway system and visited the London Bridge. Why? To see how London is coping. And what did I discover? Flowers everywhere. Walls with messages scribbled on stickies, literally thousands of them. I stood there for a while, reading the messages and absorbing the reactions the London Bridge attack had caused. There were cops everywhere. Why though? Did they think another attack was going to happen?
I’ll admit it: I was a bit scared coming to London. Being in crowded areas had me worried, especially underground in the subway system. I couldn’t help but think: how would I get out? The power going out in my hotel room definitely did not make me feel any better.
After watching everything about the attacks on BBC as well as CNN, I realized this situation is really out of control already. Why so much hate? Why England in particular? I realized there were a lot of blurred lines between the conception that ISIS is fighting the United States, but the attacks were primarily in Europe. I’ll definitely be doing my research as soon as I’m home.
At the end of the day, I still love London, the people of London, and the different cultures and ethnicity. Just like Toronto! This trip was not only a business trip, but a personal learning trip. Having conversations with the locals who are living this reality and getting their insight really put into perspective how much sadness there is right now in the UK and around the globe, and most importantly, how much we as humanity need it to come to an end.