Chronicles of one girl's journey to London - from conception to eventual migration.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

OFF TO DUBAI

Dubai is what really started my big move to London last time . . . and now, here I am, the eve before my departure to yet another wedding in that city.

I have a love-hate relationship with Dubai. It was my home for so long but I no longer recognize it. Therefore, I feel no real longing or nostalgia towards the place as a whole.

I am, however, very excited for this wedding! Ayesha, my best friend since I was 5 years old, is marrying her university boyfriend Altamash. Details on the other side!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

I hope you are all enjoying the day and are happy, safe and warm wherever you are! A big thank you to the Khan family who adopted me for the day!

Friday, December 24, 2010

COMING OUT OF THE DARK!

Something else I've realized when you move somewhere brand-spankin' new is that you sort of lose yourself for a little while. Anyone who left their hometown for uni can attest to this. When no one knows who you were, no one knows who you should be now. You can act any old way you like!

I had this luxury in very small doses only since I made a lot of my current friends in London last year. So though I haven't changed much I found myself a little unlike the Toronto version of me. 
It has a lot to do with feeling a bit lost; a bit marooned. Slowly, though, you find yourself - your true self  - and from there should fit more comfortably into the world around you. 

But in order to not get too comfortable and then, therefore, bored (a constant issue with me) I have lots of travel plans next year that I really must get going on!

I hope this isn't the faux-cheer of the holiday season but I woke up this morning feeling much more hopeful, happier and generally more at ease with my life! I hope this lasts!! 

Gloria Estefan sang it best . . .


Thursday, December 23, 2010

25 AND A DAY

Well, it certainly was a happy birthday! My sisters have taken off this morning to go back to Toronto (with, I strongly suspect, my house keys in one of their coat pockets!) and I will go back to my house and restore my sense of disorder to my daily life.
I have been sick AGAIN and it's starting to worry me a lot more. A friend's theory is that I'm not used to the viruses in this country and so will feel better as I spend more time here. However, my time here is so short that I don't think I will have that luxury!
Anyway . . . due to the nasty illness I permanently carry about my person, we had a quiet birthday. It did, of course, last an entire week but it involved more catching up and less dancing and drinking.
I'm so glad my sisters were around for it and I am so sad they went back home.
There is lots to do though. Christmas isn't important to me this year apart from church tomorrow night. The next big thing is Dubai in one week! I am really looking forward to that! Hoping to come back with a tan ;)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

LEAVE MY YOUTH ALONE!

I have been waiting for this dreaded moment since the day I found my first white hair at 22. Three years later, one week away from 25, it has arrived: I have seen my first set of fine lines on my face. It is taking all my common sense and willpower not to sink to my knees, white-knuckled fists raised to the sky, shaking in poorly supressed anger and desperation while I bellow Why, God, whhhyyy?!

It is official: I am old.


I will fight it, as generations have before me, with creams and serums and perhaps even the odd injection here and there. I will buy into miracle products and fall for gimmicky ads when I see Cindy Crawford and her lovely face on TV. 

I wish I was the kind of person who could happily see these lines and say, These lines tell the story of my extraordinary life! Behold, I am wise woman secure in her humanity!

Er, no . . . I'm sorry but I am just not that cool. I'll be in line behind you at the Boots (or Shopper's Drug Mart if I'm in Toronto) with the various age-fighters on the market hoping for that miracle. My youth is not leaving me without a good brawl!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

BEST PRESENT EVER

I have been a very lucky girl. Almost all my birthdays have been spectacular, especially the gifts. And I am shallow. I love presents. I'm not the kind of person who responds with Oh you don't have to get me anything when someone asks me what I want for my birthday. If you've ever asked me, you know I'm not shy and will say I don't know but I do love to shop! I love shopping vouchers (hint).
But this year . . . this year, one of my birthday presents has beat almost all the others. My lovely boyfriend has been bestowed legendary status because his gift to me is this:

He is flying my sisters in from Toronto for my birthday week.

On my 5th birthday - 20 years ago
That's right. Both my sisters are coming to London and he has taken care of all of it. I have never had such a thoughtful present that I didn't even ask for! I am amazed at it. Everyone I tell is!

While it was supposed to be a surprise, it is almost impossible to surprise me if I am told that something is coming. I hounded Qas for hints and eventually guessed. He made every effort to keep it from me. I am glad I found out though! As much as I love surprises this gives me something else to look forward to this exciting month. 

And I am just so, so excited to see my sisters! It has been a long 7 months without them around and I'm really looking forward to their visit!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A GENERAL OVERVIEW OF LONDON

I recently reconnected with a near and dear friend on Facebook who asked the following questions when she learned of my move to London:

How are the men? Pansies? Average? "It is what you make of it"?
Weather? Work? Transport?? 

And so, the answers to these questions follows this sentence.

The Men
The men are beautiful. They are either feminine and charming or masculine and coarse. There are, on average, far better looking men in London than in Toronto. Their accents aren't THAT sexy but their attitudes towards women are. London men seem to be looking for love. They are kinder, more aware of themselves and very comfortable in their own skin. Of course, having a boyfriend here, I tend not to notice the men in an interested way. But I am still interested in learning about their cultural differences, so I still observe.

Weather
The stories you've heard are all true: it rains in England. It also snows, shines and fogs. The weather is sporadic and changes on an hourly basis. This is no exaggeration. Something to do with where the UK sits on two different Atlantic currents means that the country experiences drastically different weather at the whim of the wind.

Work
Ah, work. The one thing I wanted more than anything else in London and finally got! Work here is great. They seem to promote very quickly here. They pay isn't as good as in Canada and the standard of living is much higher so day-to-day is a little more of a struggle for someone like me - someone in the middle pay grade.

Transport
Recently, there have been a spate of strikes on the Tube (Subway, Metro, Underground) so transport has been a pain. Also, the weather and transport don't mix (see previous post). I take the tube every morning for 30 minutes to work and it is crowded. I often spoon with gentlemen I do not know and it is not by choice - mine or theirs! But that is what I do. I have no car here but I am, as I always will be, still spoilt as my boyfriend has one. So, while I do spend a lot of the time on the tube, I spend a lot of time in a very nice car as well.

All in all, I love London. Some days I see myself living here long-term with little apprehension.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

HAPPY DECEMBER! STAY UPRIGHT!

It's my birthday month! All rejoice in the celebrations and be merry! Also, Merry Christmas :)
I will be 25 this year and it is my first birthday away from my entire family. I have good friends and a great boyfriend though so I think I should be well taken care of.


View outside my front door last night. Pretty!
It has snowed this week. Not very much by Canadian standards but apparently of epic proportions for English standards. The entire country has panicked. Airports are closed, trains aren't running, tubes are delayed and people are just hibernating.
I blame the lack of salt in the country. There is no salt on the sidewalks and there seems to be no salt truck business here either. The roads are icy and the sidewalks are treacherous; I see people falling on a daily basis. I don't understand. It's not like this is the first time England has had snow right? Sooo . . . why so unprepared?
This is definitely an area we here can learn a lesson from Canada. Salt the earth damnit!