Thursday, October 17, 2013

The student tourist

My first night at my new student residence was everything I expected it to be. After unpacking like a ninja to put away my entire luggage, my room-mate and partner in crime Nazreen suggested a stroll through the city to do some grocery shopping. Stepping out into the crisp autumn day and walking among students, tourists, workers and children felt like a scene straight from a movie. They say television hardly portrays reality and we end up believing in cliches that aren't true- but London has stereotypes and clich├ęs at every corner. The red double deckers and telephone booths are reminders that some things never change. With the promise of discovering galleries, cafes, and book shops at every corner, getting lost is merely a guarantee of another adventure.

And now, three weeks later, London has grown on me and I find myself walking through the city with the confidence of a local and the childish amusement of a tourist. The excitement that comes with new places has not worn off, and I hope it never will. There are stories and histories everywhere. I find myself listening to strangers’ conversations while waiting for the lights to change (I always was a bit of an eavesdropper) and wondering who they really are, where they are from and what their stories are. I find myself crawling into book shops, just to pass time or keep warm when it’s raining. The best I've come across are the cozy second hand stores, with grey-haired men behind the counter and the musky smell of old books.

I am a stranger in this new city and yet there are nooks and corners that make me feel more at home than I ever thought was possible. With the unexpected smiles from strangers on the train and cashiers at supermarkets I can’t help but wonder if everything I had done up until now has lead me here.  That I wasn't completely crazy to leave the warm sunshine of my home to come all the way here in an attempt to find myself, to continue growing.

Three weeks down, a million memories to go.


  1. Please try to explaine the historic and present state of the city which you visited. I couldn’t get flow of reading as last post. But there are some sparks which indicate the bright future of writing. good wishes.

    Rasheed N K

  2. Great that you two are living together - a bit of familiarity in a big city never hurts! I hope you're both enjoying your studies and the UK generally, despite the dislocations.