Bags, BBC & Blisters

The mistakes I made during my first week in London- a lesson for all aspiring international students, who lack a bit of commonsense, like me.

No.1- Travel light

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I know this is impossible; you are traveling to a city that is fashionable and cold at the same time, that too for a year or more! (Especially for girls- we have our dresses, jeans, creams, perfumes, minimum 12 pairs of shoes, accessories, blow dryer, hair iron etc. etc. and on top of that, winter clothes that weigh more than we do.) How can all of it weigh less than 30 kgs? It’s impossible, but trust me, you have to make it possible! Otherwise you would end up paying around Rs 8000 for excess baggage like i did.

No.2- The BBC

The beautiful black cab!

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When you have 2 huge bags, a heavy laptop bag (cause you have squished 2 tops and a pair of jeans in there to save excess baggage fee 😉 ) a jacket, and a new bright yellow handbag, taking the tube train and carrying all this stuff by yourself, is out of question! So what you do is take a cab obviously, not just any cab but the beautiful black cab. Why? Because it looks classy and you have seen Nigella Lawson travelling in it in her shows. The cab drivers are so helpful and friendly, that you will not realize how the half hour journey to the accommodation passes by talking to them, until they tell you on arrival, “It’s 150 pounds gorgeous!”

P. S.  I would still recommend a short trip in the BBC before you leave London.  It adds character and style to this City (I am sure you would have to, at one point or the other)

No.3- Comfortable shoes…aaaaaaahhhh!

Travelling is expensive and there are no rickshaws (I wish there were).. you have to walk! A lot!

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When my sister was helping me pack my bags, we had a huge fight and the topic was my shoes. I had to choose between a pair of comfortable sneakers and a pair of red heels. Winning the battle as usual, she made me take the sneakers, against my will. First few days I walked around wearing one of the other heels I had, you know how it is…new place, trendy university, cute boys, fashionable girls, and competition around! I was not ready to give up so easily ;). After the numerous parties and events during the fresher’s week at the university, my flat mates and I used to get back home, walking 20 minutes every night. Soon as we got back, we made a sound, “aaaaaaaaahhhhh!!” the sound of relief, of getting out of our heels. Few days passed by like this, and then came the blisters and the leg pain. I realized, you never argue with your big sister. They are always right! I ditched my handsome but hurtful heels and now it’s my ordinary looking but comfortable Mickey sneakers and me.

Moral of the story = Comfort > Looks (When choosing shoes or love 😉 )

London & I have a long history… The fascination with this city began when I was barely 8, with Enid Blyton books. Then came the Bollywood movies where the lead characters would either be an Oxford alumni who sticks to her Indian traditions or a guy who goes to London to study, so that he could find his estranged brother. After a few years, during a tough time at a new school when I was 15, I came across an exchange student program conducted by my school and Cranbrook school in Kent, the program included an opportunity to go to London for 15 days. I heard ” trip to London” and I was in the flight the next moment. Though it was a short trip, it was one of the most unforgettable experiences of my life. It was better than in the movies. The places I got to visit, the classes I attended, and the friends I made, will be with me forever. Before leaving, I promised myself that I will come to London again, sometime, to study, to get a degree, and here I am!

Though it’s been only a month here at Middlesex University, I am enjoying every bit of it. Over the years I had become an introvert, calling myself an anthropophobic would be an exaggeration but I loved spending time alone. So before coming here for the post grad, I had my own concerns. But it’s only now when I am writing this post, I am realizing that’s it’s been a month, a month away from home, away from loved ones, away from rice and sambhar. Time passes so quickly, I hardly get time for myself, but I am not complaining. From the classes, friends, new job to becoming the London Study Ambassador of Middlesex, it’s been great so far.

Looking forward to explore London and to make you love this city as much as I do 🙂