Waking up last week, in the back of a taxi where I had been slumbering all the way from Heathrow, to the driver asking if it was the correct address, I felt disoriented and completely lost. Though it was just 7 or 8 pm, I was 5.5 hours ahead in body and spirit. I peered out groggily into the dark streets and couldn’t recognize the area. Plus he had on a song which sounded like children crying in low voices the word “Daddy” repeatedly. I made him drive about for some more time before I finally recognized my apartment house and he proclaimed it was exactly 5 meters from where he had originally stopped. To say I wasn’t feeling quite at home back in cold London was an understatement. After spending a month back home with hubby and family, I felt alone and even abandoned in a sense. Nothing seemed familiar anymore and it drove home the stupidity of our situation.
On Monday, the very next day, it was business as usual and I benefited from waking up early and being the first one in at work the entire week. It was a difficult week – going away for a month, no matter how desirable, can have a disrupting effect on your life and it takes a couple of days to adjust back. By the time the weekend was here, I was determined to enjoy all the joys the city has to offer. What I really like about London is how it has something for everyone. Perhaps this is true for a lot of large, international cities but I haven’t lived for a prolonged period of time in any of them. London has parks, museums, art in some many forms, a great tradition of music, the lovely river, the canals, the transport system (a lot of people crib about it but I think it’s absolutely brilliant), cultural diversity – reflected not just in the amazing people you see but also in the number of restaurants and cafes with varied cuisine, the shops catering to these cultures, their own little parts of the city where they live in larger concentrations and dress truer to their culture. London also has such healthy food – everywhere! And British humour. And great comedy. And nightlife. And the city has been looking all dressed up and extra gorgeous for Christmas. I could go on and on, it’s a fantastic city and for sure there are a lot worse places for having a long distance relationship 😉
Yesterday was my first Saturday back. I was glad I hadn’t stayed out too late at the office party on Friday night. I had an early start to the day and biked after breakfast around Clissold Park. The wintry sun was out and though there was a nip in the air, it felt great. The bare trees looked beautiful and I stopped to admire the ducks in the pond as large dogs shuffled past. Back on the bike and I turned to look once again at the pond when I saw a large flock of white birds descend in formation from the sky onto the leafless branches of a tree. Some organic veggie purchases and lunch and Napoleon Dynamite later, I decided to go watch Seven Psychopaths at Hackney Picturehouse. I quite like this sense of self containment I feel in this Borough. Nothing seems too far but at the same time I don’t feel like I’m just rooted in one spot and doing everything in a small radius. The movie itself was brilliant. I’d expected no less from the director of In Bruges.
I have to still get around to writing about Sikkim!