London Calling – By @TarunChandy
By Tarun Chandy
I honestly expected I’d have this SCAB finished a lot sooner. I figured it would be interesting to write it after I’d arrived in London. I could talk about my first moments in the city and my aspirations and anxieties over the year I had ahead of me. I now admit that was a stupid idea. Moving to a new city is hectic. Far more so when you’re doing it alone. There are things to do, people to meet, bars to hop and mistakes to make. Your well thought out plan for the days before your course begins will be subject to constant deviation from the moment you step off the tube. And you’ll wind up lying in bed the night before your first day, hastily trying to get your thoughts together as you reflect on the four days that got away from you.
I left India last Thursday. Flying through Dubai because, as always, I waited too long to book my tickets and the prices were through the roof. I remember looking through the bookstore at the airport, considering a number of prominent authors and fascinating subjects that would enhance my knowledge over the journey. Instead, I spent eleven and a half hours watching movies, reflecting on my recent break up and waging a strategic war with the hairy prick next to me for control over the arm rest.
A couple of train rides later, I was in Brixton. I’ll probably do another blog post laster on, describing the neighborhood in greater detail, but for the time being I feel like I’m still taking it all in. It’s definitely more to digest than most places I’ve come across.
A lot happened over the next few days. I met a few of the people I’m going to be spending most of next year with, and thoroughly enjoyed their company. I tried Caribbean food, which was a much more elaborate cuisine than I would’ve expected. I lost my temper with a bank teller. I struggled to cope with jet-lag. I essentially got scammed by the good people at Vodafone, who assured me their prepaid deal would last a month and then messaged to say I’d gone through it all, two days later. I dropped my phone into the toilet, allowing my problem with Vodafone to be briefly overshadowed. I learnt how to put a duvet together, which took me far longer than I’m proud to admit. And a few minutes before starting this SCAB, I had my first shave with a non-electric razor, because the charger to my electric one doesn’t work with UK plug points. Somehow, I feel more masculine now.
Despite the odd obstacle, I think I’ve enjoyed being in London, so far. Sure, sometimes being in a new city, the most conventional activities can feel completely overwhelming, be it riding the bus or understanding the people or even ordering the right burger at McDonalds. But when embraced with the right attitude, that feeling of nervousness and uncertainty can be unexpectedly rewarding. So I’m going in tomorrow, for my first day at SCA, ready to be overwhelmed.