New things, old things

December 5, 2010 § Leave a comment

So, this has been my first full week of living in London. I moved 3 weeks ago, but have spent the last 2 weekends in Yorkshire so hadn’t had a chance to really do anything in London other than go to work, come home, find the nearest supermarket… that sort of thing.

No matter how often I move homes/cities/countries, I’m always surprised by how fast you settle in. I don’t have a real routine yet, but nonetheless, when I come back to the house I now feel like I’m at home. I’ve started to associate my old walking-to-uni soundtrack with my walk to work. I’m looking forward to spending time in the park nearby in summer and going to the theatre when I can afford it. I’ve rediscovered the joy and inspiration of student activism, a year after leaving university. I’ve met up with friends I originally knew in Edinburgh and Wakefield. In some ways, I’m basically doing much the same as I was before, but in a different place.

This week I’ve also spent a lot more time on buses and tubes – and realised I don’t actually hate either as much as I thought. I’ve also discovered that my perception of Londoners as generally unfriendly and unhelpful to strangers on the street may not be true at all. Some examples of unsolicited London kindness:

1. Several people giving directions when asked
2. One lovely man, seeing me and a friend poring over a map, comes up to ask if he can help
3. A man sprinkling salt on his drive suggests that I walk on the road where it’s less icy and advises me to “tread carefully dear!”

and – contrary to my expectations – people DO smile at you on the tube! And offer up their seats to others on a regular basis, even if it means they then have to stand with head squashed up against the roof hanging on to someone else’s bag-strap to stay upright.

Awesome. London is not at all living up to expectations. Suddenly I’m very excited to be here.

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