Friday, 19 December 2008

Yeah, it's overwhelming, but what else can we do?

Ice-skating at the Tower of London with Rayna and Greg

How to wrap up an amazing six months living in London? At first, I thought I could sum up the whole experience by waxing philosophical: How my time here never felt like the pseduo-vacation of studying abroad, but more like I was creating a life, putting down roots—making friends, building a home, settling in. And how cosmically unfair it feels to have those roots torn up just as they were getting established.

But that's too abstract. So I thought I could write about all the things, big and small, about living in London that put a smile on my face: the Saturday mornings spent with the Guardian and a cup of tea; one pint with Greg quickly turning into many at the Market Porter or the Royal Inn; the unrivaled people watching available in the Sunday-morning markets of the East End, from Brick Lane down to Spitalfields; waking up 20 minutes early just so I can have an espresso on the way to work; cooking with Phoebe in our tiny kitchen with the view out the window of Kingsland Mosque's minaret lit up green for Eid; walking across London Bridge five days a week; sitting in the front seat on the upper deck of a red London bus.

But that misses the point. Maybe, I thought, I should write how my time here wouldn't have been any fun at all if I hadn't, quite unexpectedly, made some great friends. What's the point of a full English breakfast, or hiking around Hampstead Heath, if you don't have a Phoebe or a Greg to share it with?

But that, I thought, is too sappy. So here's all I'll say: I'm going to miss London. A lot.