Kumiko knew the Sprawl from a thousand stims; a fascination with the vast conurbation was a common feature of Japanese popular culture.
She'd had few preconceptions of England, when she'd arrived there: vague images of several famous structures, unfocused impressions of a society her own seemed to regard as quaint and stagnant. (In her mother's stories, the princess-ballerina discovered that the English, however admiring, couldn't afford to pay her to dance.) London, so far, had run counter to her expectations, with its energy, its evident affluence, the Ginza-bustle of its great shopping streets.
(Gibson: p. 142)
Talk about stereotypes. Yes, sure, we all know that London is one of the most important financial centers of the world, but the assumption is that it remains so due to the past vigor of the British Empire more than anything else. Yet, the reality is that British society is quite dynamic and diverse. Due to the influence of popular media, when we try to think of a diverse, lively, dynamic, changing multicultural society, New York City pops up to mind almost immediately. However, London can also be described with the very same words. To some extent, the same applies to the overall image most Americans have of Europe. Many still view it as a group of monolithic societies but things have changed too much in the past two decades.