First Week in London

The wind howls, biting into my skin, begging me to bundle up. I don’t relent as I trudge onwards to my destination. I should have worn another jumper, I think, or a different jacket, but I didn’t. I am often so prepared that I am underprepared because I think about how exciting it is to be somewhere new, but then the adjustment almost always goes seamlessly into my mundane daily activities. So I forget the basics, like layering up. Oh well.

I’ve been in London one week, and it already feels like it is a part of my soul. The city has captured my heart in ways that are hard to describe, but I will try. I feel at ease with all the people, the sounds and the exploring. Every day I am challenged to do things that I didn’t have to do back at home. I find myself examining the world with a discerning eye. I see the rich history in every street corner, and I find myself wishing that I could transport myself back to the beginning. The beginning of what?  Everything. I see the truth is that everyone just walks by life without caring, and they do that here too, but the difference is me.

I am in love with the sounds and the city itself. Coming from a Minnesotan Twin Cities suburb to Madison was a relatively seamless transition because the city of Madison doesn’t feel so big. In London, the city is huge, and there are all these zones and places to visit. Each place shows a different flavor, a different love of the city. I find myself wanting to understand how the history has shaped the city. I want to know everything. I see the cracks in the buildings, and I see the long history, the truth. I’m not in denial that the city can be grimy, with its unique areas and relentless pace, but I’m in love with it evermore.

I have found solace in being alone in a city of millions. I am particularly fond of exploring places to go and sit with my journal and just observe the passerby. I am fond of fancy things too. I often wonder how many famous Brits I have seen but do not recognize because everyone dresses so impeccably posh. (Yes, I’ve integrated British words for American words into my vocab.)

I have a favorite pub already, a favorite running spot, a favorite grocery store (the co-op) and my favorite place to just center myself, which, believe it or not, is in Kensington (cough, cough Harrods).

I have been to Harrods three times this week. Alone. You read that right. I have been in London one week, and I have been to Harrods three times, two of which I made actual purchases. Kiehl’s shampoo and conditioner anyone?

I have a love affair with Harrods. The large building feels like a palace with its £48,000 prams and delicious ice cream, but I am especially in love with just wandering around aimlessly. There is something oddly comforting about walking around a place of luxury, clearly out of place, but being exactly perfect right where you are. It’s hard to describe, but it’s a yearning for something, anything, but knowing that it’s unattainable.

Plus they have my shampoo, and if anyone were to know anything about me it’s that shampoo matters. It’s possibly one of two things that I actually care about with my appearance, but that is a whole other issue.

I love it here. I love the fashion, the smells, the people and most importantly the food.

I even love the rain. I love the weather. It suits me.

I’ll probably never want to come home, and I’ve accepted it.