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I don’t think I am jet lagged. I am merely sleeping late and waking up early.

I slept at 3am India time, woke up at 6:30am London time. Basically same as always, yet the numbers confused you for a second, didn’t they.? *Mission accomplished*

I woke up with the sound of rain. My cosy bed was the reason for me not having gotten out of it even though I was partially up by 5:30-6am. I tried sleeping but then, I couldn’t anymore. I walked downstairs, hoping to not make any noise. I managed with just a creak or two. I sat with my usual warm water, sipping it slowly, going through all my social media feed and chatting with the family on whatsapp. My eyes began to droop around 8:30am and then I passed out on the couch. I finally woke up an hour later and had breakfast.

My friend and I had planned to go to Central London today. The plan was sound. I’d learn how to use the public transport. A bus till a certain point and then the Tube further. The only issue was that it was raining cats and dogs outside. We waited for the rain to stop, or at least slow down. The wait lasted 3 hours, after which we decided we had to step out. Our first stop was the mall. Why a mall? Well having lived in Bombay for the last few years, the amount of ‘winter clothing’ has drastically reduced. But it’s supposed to be summer in London, one would think that were true. But the rain and pretty strong winds would suggest otherwise.

We braved the weather and went to the mall to buy a poor soul (read:me) a waterproof warm jacket. A London staple if you must. For a Thursday afternoon, there were a lot of people in the mall, and it’s not like it was Sale season everywhere. With a purpose in mind, we only went to stores that we could possibly find jackets in. An hour into that expedition, I was hungry. It was after all 7pm India time. The time when hunger strikes! (for me, at least) We went to M&S and had a sandwich.

So for Indians, who only know M&S as a clothing store. Here, in London it’s so much more. Clothes, groceries, plants, etc. We got ourselves a sandwich and sat down. One thing I have to say, the ham & cheese sandwiches here are Amazing. I know it’s just ham & cheese, but they’re really good. Once rejuvenated we went on our search again, only to realise we can’t find anything. It was already mid-day and going to Central London would mean getting there and then getting back in peak hour traffic, that too with rain. If Bombay has taught you anything, it’s don’t be stupid in the rain. If you don’t need to go somewhere urgently, don’t go at all. So we decided to get back home, stop at a smaller mall nearby and see if I could find anything. As luck would have it, I did.

#ThingsInote
  • People here are used to the rain and for them it’s just another day.
  • For some reason everyone is dressed in muted tones. Greys, Blacks, Beiges.
  • Very few people wear anything in color.
  • The shops have a lot of options for colored clothing, but people gravitate towards the grayscale.
  • People are shopping solo with big headphones on.
  • The food choices are ridiculous. I mean, I couldn’t make up mind. So I took the easy way out today – Sandwich!
  • People litter. You would think that maybe people here would not do so, but in the bus there was a redbull can on a seat, and another soda can rolling around while we were seated.
  • People can actually live solitary lives here while not looking up.
  • You have self check out kiosks, you’re basically your own check out clerk/cashier.

At the end of this day, all I wanted was the rain to stop.

Guess what? It didn’t. So my friend and I ended up coming home, chilling, talking, cooking some dinner and albeit the rain, we managed to have a wonderful evening. I think sometimes people confuse traveling with pitstops and tick marks. Not that that is not a way to travel. But there are different ways. You can see places in short spurts. You don’t have to do too much to enjoy yourself. It’s like that airbnb commercial, don’t just go to a place… live there.

This is me, living in London.

to be contd…

For my first solo trip, I decided to go far far away from India.

My first ever experience in business class

I have to thank Nair for this. I was flying to a country I’ve never been to, on a 9hr flight and it was amazing. Having traveled British Airways and that too Business class was more than I had expected. It’s great to have connected friends, who give you some perks of their jobs sometimes. Internally, I was super excited, but my calm unassuming exterior would have you imagine that I belonged there.

I’m short so leg space has never really been such an issue for me when it comes to airplanes. But business class is another ball game. The multiple level of reclining, having a flat bed to sleep on, personal lighting. That is the dream. And I lived it. I watched two films, ate a fantastic meal and the service was top notch. The Tanqueray gin and tonic added to the experience. Not to mention the two cups of coffee. I did attempt to sleep but that didn’t happen. Though I think there was a mini power nap somewhere in the middle.

Nine hours later, I landed in London and went to the Fast-track line. The irony in that was that it was called Fast track but the people who were in the regular queue took the same amount of time. Immigration was no hassle, and I finally collected my baggage, got a local sim and called my friend who booked the taxi. It was a nice day outside. I got into the cab and the Indian in me wanted to say “bhaiya, sheesha neeche kardo” (Sir, could you roll down the windows..) only to realise the reason they didn’t was because it rains in spurts. The drive was long, but in a way I got to see a lot of London enroute.

First impressions

  • The sky is grey.
  • Immediately you spot the red double decker buses.
  • The iconic black cabs are ridiculously cute.
  • The brick houses/architecture has its own charm.
  • The tiny hanging flower pots outside houses’ entrance immediately catches your eye and makes you smile.
  • Everyone is well dressed.Though they appear to mostly be in grayscale.
  • It’s clean, obviously. Things & places are demarcated well.
  • There is a Ring Road here. (*Delhi people will understand this)
  • The signage on most cafe’s, pubs, eateries have brilliant fonts.
  • There’s graffiti everywhere.
  • It’s an interesting mix of the old & new.

#always #dowhatyoulove #thingsisee #graffiti #london #lookingout #travel #uk

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#architecture #lookingout #london #thingsisee #funkybuilding

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It’s a pinterest dream basically to look out the window. I wanted to constantly keep my phone out and take every possible picture. But then I decided, this time I won’t ONLY do that. I’ll try and see the city not just through my phone or an Instagram filter, but through the eyes that god gifted me.

I got to my friends’ house, who is graciously hosting me, and immediately fell in love with the lane she lives in. Its suburbia, but it isn’t. The brick structure with the beautiful windows. Her house from the interior is equally striking. A cosy living room, beautiful art work adorning the walls, her forever love for owls (something we share) and a lovely backyard. It said ‘home’ immediately.

I stayed awake for the most part, trying not to be jet lagged. I managed till 3am India time and then I was out.

Ps. this will be my travel diary. Keep following for more.

 

to be contd…