London Voices: Londoners reflect on an extraordinary week in the life of an extraordinary city

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The Independent Online

Blazej Babulewkz, painter, 24

I was meant to be painting a building in Waterloo, but I've been given the day off. People don't seem to be nervous in the city, though, and I am surprised. Londoners, even after only one day, are just living their lives. Now I'm worried about my family back in Warsaw. Everywhere is in danger now.

Tiffany Draper, PA, 30

The saddest feeling is that none of this was very surprising. People view it as a matter of course rather than a big shock. On Wednesday I remember thinking I wasn't too keen on the Olympic Games because it will mean Londoners will pay more council tax. But now I'll definitely get behind it.

Chloe Palfreman, literary agent, 23

It seems so quiet on the streets. There's tension, apprehension, and everyone's nervous. Lots of people haven't made it into work. Although the attacks were really shocking, afterwards there was a nice community feeling in London and people were asking each other how they were. Londoners are doing well.

Keith Plumber, ambulance worker, 38

People have been stopping me in the street to ask me about my experiences. I didn't start work on Thursday until after the main crisis was over, so I didn't have much to say. This shows how great a city London is. I'm so proud of London Ambul-ance, and the way they dealt with it. We're all off to meet Tony Blair in a couple of hours.

Yvonne Taylor, charity worker, 33

I've just travelled back from Spain, and the past two days in London have been so weird. A bus I was on pulled up at King's Cross three minutes after the bomb went off. We didn't realise how much danger we were in yesterday and it's weird how quickly things have got back to normal. I think London and Londoners are amazing.

Ash Khan, student, 20

The emergency services reacted brilliantly and I feel very proud to be a Londoner today.

Yong Sung Lee, shopkeeper, 50

I've lived in London for 25 years, so I've seen a fair amount, the IRA bombings, all sorts. I was shocked, and although people were panicking, everything was quiet. Londoners have done well, they always do. It was a strange week. To celebrate, then mourn. But everything always continues as before.

Florence Durrant, lecturer, 33

If people can deal with the bombings in Iraq, we can deal with them here. There's no difference, it's all part of the same violence. We can't help but feel sorry for the innocent people who have lost their lives because they had nothing to gain from all these wars we're fighting. The world is at war.

Martin Delbeke, IT support, 42

The city is subdued at the moment. The attacks weren't really surprising. This is something that we've feared, but expected for a long time. The overriding feeling is that this is something that has been happening in other countries - Iraq and so on - and eventually it was going to come here.

Dora Costa, student, 23

It was terrible going into work; my normal 10-minute journey took 40 minutes, and the atmosphere is really strange. My university would normally be full on a Friday, but today it was empty. I like the way London has reacted, though. It's definitely not as hysterical as the States. Everyone isn't rushing to buy flags, and I respect that.

Barry Rajuan, electronics shop owner in Tavistock Square, 50

Thursday was terrible. We had to close the shop at 12pm and I'm worried about my business. I think the tourists will be scared to come back. I moved here from Israel to set up this shop and it was the same problem back there. I don't think Londoners have dealt well with the situation.

Tim Pocket, Big Issue salesman, 60

It's been hard selling the magazine, that's for sure. There's very few people around. I was at Tavistock Square when it happened [the No 30 bus blast]. I was shocked, but it was more that I wanted to know what was going on. London's coping well, but what else are we going to do? We have to cope, don't we?

Sunatan, monk, 31

I wasn't surprised about the bombings. It is a very ungodly world we're living in. There's a lot of antagonism, a lot of unhappy people. The roots of that run deep in this city. As soon as I heard, I went to our temple to check everyone was all right. Now everything is running again. But people are edgy and suspicious, and that's a natural consequence.

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