It’s been a week since I left India and landed on a whole other continent.
It’s been a week of confusion, getting lost and discovery.
It’s been a week but already I am in love. In love with this city.
London has not failed me. It is exactly what I expected and hoped it would be. Be it the people who are so polite in their mannerisms or the moody weather, the Big Ben and its cracked bell or the red telephone booths, everything is magic to me. I feel as though I have stepped into one of my favourite novels and I wish so dearly that this never ends.
So here I am documenting my first few days here, my observations and experiences.
Despite the fact that I have yet to learn how to read a map, I have become quite the professional at commuting via tube and bus. The rumble of the train entering the platform, the ground shaking under me as it comes to a stop has become a comfort of sorts.
The women here have pushed me into eating healthy (I now enjoy yoghurt, something I used to detest earlier) and I also walk. A lot. People at all times of the day can be seen jogging and it is enough to see the women in their way too skinny jeans and figure hugging clothes to give me the well needed kick and push to start working out and become more understanding of my body and make some well deserved changes in my lifestyle. Having made some really good friends (one who has given me competition in regards to OCD, one who buys fruit loops and cereals and munches on them as though they were snacks and one who is a pro at all things tax and calculations), they have ensured that the lovely relationship I shared with my bed does no longer exist. With a new plan devised every day, I am out visiting and wondering across a different street, square and monument almost every day.
During my three day orientation, I have come across people from different nationalities some of whom have been warm and welcoming and the others not so much. I have found myself lost in my own campus, the infamous Strand which I have dubbed The Hogwarts Staircase since the building has way too many flights of stairs and they all LOOK ALIKE. No wonder I got lost and almost didn’t make it to my session.
I have been on a walking tour where I learnt just how much the monarchy loved sex and I have also been on a cruise during which the sun was so unbearably hot, I wondered if I was indeed in London, or back in Delhi. I have also found myself wandering famous squares, the likes of Trafalgar and Piccadilly. I have participated in and thoroughly hated the British disco night life and have also embarrassed myself by cackling loudly on hearing the British crack their very dry jokes.
I have commuted in a tube for over forty minutes oblivious to the fact that I was sporting very bright blue teeth and an even brighter blue tongue thanks to the candy I am consistently chewing on (which sort of negates my healthy eating) and discovered the very yummy Burger King which makes for quite a sumptuous dinner seeing as I missed mine quite a few times.
I have successfully opened a bank account although I skirt topics which include terms like ‘loans, credit, debit, interest’ and have failed abysmally to do my laundry which has put me in a VERY sticky situation. I AM RUNNING OUT OF CLOTHES TO WEAR.
I also, didn’t spare any time and successfully picked a fight with my parents.
Through all this, the one thing that has remained constant is the fact that each day, when I wake after somehow shutting off the alarm clock, I find myself smiling and eagerly looking forward to the day to come. I am not grumpy or cranky. I do not wish to go back to sleep neither do I wish I could cancel plans.
I find comfort in this land that is sunny one minute and chilly the next, this land where leaves crunch under my shoes as autumn and winter get ready to brush shoulders, people smile and wish good morning and good evening genuinely and also sincerely apologise and wish people a good day.
I have found a missing piece of me. I feel more complete.
Seven days down and I am already bewitched. I can’t wait to experience more.
Ending this with a few pictures, the first of many :)