Friday, 28 September 2012

It's been 2 years

It's been two years.

I woke up a month before, beginning of August probably thinking that I needed to escape. Escape from something, from somewhere. It was too safe.

Just as I returned from my holidays, I received the unexpected email. Expected though.

I packed my bags and said bye to my dearests. Left it all in less that 15 days. I still remember my great father, asking me: -'are you sure? You can wait...'. - 'It's now or never', I answered, excited yet a bit scared. I didn't have time to prepare much. I was going to the unknown but something told me that I was not going to regret it. A two and a half hour flight after, here I was, breathing the damp atmosphere of London City, rolling down the streets of Pimlico in search of my hostel. I left my mom crying at the airport.

I couldn't wait more. The next morning, I threw myself out of the bunk bed and explored alone the streets of the town that was going to be my neighbourhood. My big neighbour.

What happened then is all history now. I met my lovely classmates; they were just literally a handful. I found them, confused, as we were all in a building in Aldgate East, my first real contact with the City. Just as I finished my registration in the building in Tower Hill (does not belong to the Uni anymore), I clearly remember running to Marks and Spencer to 'treat' myself with a cheddar-layered salad that I couldn't finish. I sat by 30 St Mary Axe, commonly known as 'Gherkin' and it is when it all started. Since that day I decided that my little camera was going to follow me everywhere.

A couple of days after, thanks to my great classmate (and now friend, obviously) J, I found the house that I live in ever since. There is where I found my second little family. I still remember the day I visited the house for the first time, I knew I was going to stay the moment I set a foot in the house. And I did learn a lot from my second family: I remember a conversation with one of the member of the house: 'Where have you been in London before then? What have you visited?'. Very naively I answered: 'I have seen it all'. But just as was pronouncing those syllables, I started regretting my words. I knew I had been in all the major landmarks, but within a couple of months, I began to ignore them and be able to focus my attention in other, much impressive details from London.

But yes. A lot has happened ever since. It feels like it happened yesterday, but in reality, it has been more than 730 days of adventures. We all have cried. We all have laughed. Actually, I have laughed more than I did on the previous years before I came here. I have laughed a lot. Tears of joy and phrases to remember ((I need tequila to f***ing live!!!, remember guys?)).

A lot of people have left, but a lot have stayed. And it is the great influence that I have had, the one that is absolutely priceless and don't regret a single second of it.

I have learnt about myself. I learnt how to be accompanied. I learnt how to be alone. I have grown up. I have become a little sponge: I want to know it all.

I have survived underground disruptions. I have survived train strikes. Snow, endless rain. Foxes as cats. The riots! I survived the riots and I still remember how scared I was, even though my neighbourhood was ridiculously quiet. I have survived my graduation. My phone theft. Somebody breaking into our house. I have survived my vegetarian phase. I HAVE SURVIVED THE OLYMPICS!

I have witnessed a fight with a broken nose and blood included. A bloke playing the sax in the bus stop across the road at 3 am and thought I was going mental. I have witnesses the opening of the Overground line to the East End. I tried to teach Spanish to my housemates. I have visited really random places and travelled far for it. I have been in beautiful indian seasonal festivals. I have seen most of my adore music artist live at spit distance. I have gone to the hospital to visit my friends. I have been totally skint. I have survived bedbugs and mice. I have experienced a wintery summer. I have experienced the hottest day of a summer in 7 years on a trek to Hampstead Heath (and almost fainted while trying).

I have played the Argos catalogue game. I have helped scare a new housemate on their first night out with us. I have bought a guitar in Denmark St and learnt how to play it. I have been a volunteer for the Camden Crawl. I have managed to hate Picadilly Circus. I have learnt how to make brilliant poached eggs. I now like tea with milk. I made the kettle and extension of my arm. I have discovered a deep love for East London. I have managed to like the Boxpark. I have managed to like my neighbourhood in spite of how dodgy it is.

But all in all, I have realised HOW much I love this city.

And I am here to stay.

Hopefully what will be quite a few more stories.


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