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

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

IMPOSTOR CANADIAN

So . . . I say I'm Canadian. I celebrate Canada Day with pride, I love Timmy's and I can reel off a number of famous Hollywood residents who are actually Canadian with pride and envy. I do it all the Canadian way.

However, I have a confession to make. I am an impostor. I am no more Canadian than I am Middle Eastern or Pakistani. I don't like hockey, I speak British English more naturally due my primary education and I don't remember a lot about Canada's rules and regulations.

I no longer feel Toronto is my home. It is now where my family lives. When people ask me, "How long since you've been home?" I have the urge to answer, "I am home" - and then also correct their grammar and speech but that is a different matter - because it is the truth. I have no personal ties to Toronto outside of family and close friends.

Toronto WAS home. Dubai WAS home. They moulded me and shaped me and taught me. But, now, London is where I feel I belong. Toronto is in my past, and I will always love it and I can get nostalgic for it. But I am no longer homesick for it. London is where the path to my future lies.

And I will never have an answer to, "So where are you from?"

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A VISIT TO 221B BAKER STREET

On Sunday, January 22nd, Sara and I visited the famous 221B Baker Street. Most people will know this is as the address of the so-famous-you-might-think-he's-real Sherlock Holmes and I suppose having a museum in his name doesn't help that either.

It's a great little museum. It costs £6 to peruse and you also get a handy little leaflet to guide you through some of the installations. The first two floors are laid out as Holmes' study would  be based on Arthur Conan Doyle's books, while the top floors are wax figures in homage to the different books.

Sherlock Holmes' lounge

The museum is very interesting, if a bit small. The strangest thing is the lavatory in the loft. There is still water in the bowl as well, so perhaps it can be used for patrons of the museum? We didn't experiment to find out!

The plan was to get a traditional Sunday roast in a pub around the corner (in keeping with the Sherlock theme, we picked The Globe). However, we then walked by the Park Plaza Sherlock Holmes on Baker Street and saw that they did afternoon tea for just £15. So, from one English tradition to the next, we decided to get us some tea and scones.


It was a pretty good tea, but you could tell why it was just £15. The scones were definitely bought at the Tesco next door and not made fresh. Same with the brownies, fruit cake and truffles. The sandwiches were just cheese, cheese and ham or smoked salmon so not the best selection. An afternoon tea deserves cucumber and prosciutto and fancy cheeses and things like that! Can't complain for the price though, can you?!


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

MERRY CHRISTMAS IN TORONTO, HAPPY NEW YEAR IN LONDON

This year, I gave my family what I thought would be the best Christmas present ever: ME! 

I flew home on December 24th, arriving early afternoon. My dad picked me up at the airport with one of his cute daughters (my half-sister) in tow, took me to Tim Hortons for a quick coffee and then dropped me off at my mom's house. Paul answered the door, which was great because I was hoping to see him before all my attention focused on my mother.
Amira's Christmas tree
There were lots of tears, and even more so when my sisters arrived an hour or so later. I am really glad I went home, even though I will be back there for the summer in May. Christmas without my family doesn't feel right! I've also decided to miss as few Christmases (Christmasii?) as possible from now on. 

On the 26th, most of my friends came over. All except one knew about my arrival. We surprised Badr very well, to the point where he kept pinching himself when he spoke to me. I also got to see my sisters' houses and meet Amira's puppies!

I was only there until the 27th, when I flew home on an overnight flight. I arrived in London on the morning of the 28th, dropped off my suitcase at Le Boyfriend's, had a very quick shower and went straight to work. Harcore, right? I know. I'm dedicated. And also had no holiday left to take. Mostly the latter.

I brought in the new year in London, my first time ever since last year we were in Dubai for Ayesha's wedding. It was a quiet celebration, starting with a little get together at Le Boyfriend's house before going to a local bar (Glow) for the countdown with our bottle of rose Moet to pop and toast with.

Yummy

I have high hopes for this year and also very scared for it. This is the decision year, I feel. It's going to be another pivotal year in my life and there a lot of questions that go along with this - will I get to stay in London? If not, what will I do? Where will I go? 

And what about Le Boyfriend? This is the big question, at the end of the day.

I have two half-baked plans in my head and I will reveal all soon. While I formulate, I wish you the very best this year. We may have an apocalypse at the end of this year and we may not (more likely of the two) so I hope that you spend this year appreciative and full of love, luck and positivity.