Three months after I started my assignment here in London, and I’m now here sitting on the train to Heathrow airport for my flight home, typing away on my iPad and using the complementary wifi. It’s been what I would call, a “bitter-sweet” experience. I was away from my family for 3 months and missed Christmas and New Year at home. There were those late nights for video calls with my son, and on few occasions I fell asleep while in the middle of a call. It was winter the whole time I was here, and sometimes it felt like the cold bit not only skin but also bone, especially on the walks between home and office in the mornings and evenings.
Yet it has been a fun time as well. I managed to go around the UK, as much as a busy schedule would permit. There was the new year trip to beautiful Edinbrugh, Scotland, a weekend on Belfast and the breathtaking northern Irish coast, and then I got drenched in Wales and ate black pudding. I managed to accomplish one of the things I wanted to do while here – visit the four constituent countries of the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales). I managed to see Stonehenge, see the city with unusual name – Bath, wander around the towns of Windsor and Eton, and saw what punting in Cambridge was all about.
But most of all, I managed to see more of London this time around. It’s the most cosmopolitan place I’ve ever been to. Some parts of it feel like genuine England, while others are like East Asia, or the Middle East. People of all colors, varying heights, varying builds, walk the same packed sidewalks, and ride the same packed trains. Parts of the city are immaculately clean, while some downright dingy. Sometimes you wonder if you’re still in you Europe, and in other times you are reminded that you are in Europe. But one thing is clear – London is an experience like no other.
And before I disembark from this train, let me just show you a few of the pictures I’ve taken, from my random wanderings in London.