London Life: Episode 1 – London, Baby!
London Life. LONDON, BABY!
Years ago if I had to pick a city to live in, London certainly wouldn’t have been on my list. Why? I don’t really know, but maybe because all I knew about London back then was the Big Ben, Westminster, double-decker, a little bit of this, a little bit of that, English breakfast, bla bla bla, aaand the Queen, of course.
As I said, I didn’t plan on moving to London. Mainly because big cities freak me out. (I come from a very small town from Transylvania, Romania, so small, that you could almost call me a peasant. But I am not. Not that there’s anything wrong with that). You could say that I didn’t choose London, London chose me (I know, cliche) .
I decided to leave Romania for many reasons, but still, it was not an easy decision to make. Before I left, I was worried about so many things that at one point I thought my brain was going to automatically unplug itself on the “I can’t take this crap anymore” basis. All I could think about was: how am I going to survive there? what kind of job will I find? how many muggers, rapists and so on will I find on the streets of London? what if, what if, what if?
And because I am so frightened by everything new, people tend to make fun of me a lot. Seriously, I cannot emphasize this enough. One of my friends actually spent 2 hours of his time and life to search for crime rate statistics so he can prove that London is one of the most dangerous cities in the world.
The plane ticket was already bought; there was nothing I could do. (Just a little secret, if he would have showed me the stats before, maybe I wouldn’t have purchased the damn flight ticket). By the way, did I mention I am also scared of flying? No? Well, that’s another story.
Anyhow, I got to London and the adventure began. I can tell you that from day 1 till the present, every day in London brings a different story to tell.
As soon as the plane landed, I was already like a lamb before Easter (Romanian saying, meaning “prepare yourself to die”). Big eyes exploring the surroundings, a bit suspicious, and a little bit excited.
I arrived to Victoria Coach Station earlier than planned, so I had to wait for my friend who was supposed to pick me up. I decided to have a meal (after all, I did travel three hours, and my stomach was demanding food) and while I was waiting for my order, my friend showed up.
I could see a mixture of joy and anger in his reaction. He was happy to see me, but he wasn’t very pleased about waiting any longer. He mentioned something about rush hour on the Central Line. Dude, what? How was I supposed to know that rush hour on the Central Line means acrobatic positioning just to fit in the tube? Rush hour in my home town meant seeing more than two cars on the same street. Although I’m Romanian, I don’t have any gymnastics talents whatsoever, but I quickly understood that practice make perfect when trying to fit it the tube (that’s British for subway).
Day 1 in London ended with an exhausting but exciting feeling as well. What was going to happen next? Will I be able to find a job? Will I be able to take the tube by myself? What about the muggers and the rapists out there?
Uhm, brain shutdown again.