Settling in – London, United Kingdom

So I thought there were no stars in London. I stand corrected. Almost every night this week I could look up high in the sky spotting Mars and several of the brightest stars. Granted not the multitude you can see from the countryside but the lovely people and experiences I have been having have compensated showing me stars closer to the ground.

I had a really relaxed week just hanging about shopping and checking out the library. Meeting friends for drinks, lunch and cooking dinners all the while discussing future plans and aspirations. One frustration I would have to admit was the fact that I have been searching for a mobile phone for the past week with no luck. It seems near impossible to find one or a plan that will suit world travellers. Either you have to buy heaps of sim cards everywhere you go or you have to sign a contract but as soon as you leave the UK your minutes are useless. I really wanted one of these phones with a camera but I am on the verge of giving up. Maybe I am just not meant to be connected.

One weird thing I haven`t experienced before was CCTV. This is a strange set up where cameras are mounted up on every sign, every corner. I wouldn`t be surprised if they were on the rats that infest the subways. There are signs everywhere warning you that you are being filmed but really, with the loud electronic buzzing coming from the big white boxes as they swing around, how could you not know? I guess it is all for the good of the people as I have heard stories of crime prevention because of them.

It`s just a bit weird to know someone is watching you but you don’t know who they are. I was confused at whether I felt my privacy and space invaded or relieved knowing I was being monitored in a dark street. I imagine someone with paranoid tendencies would lose it. I mean, the thing tracked me as I walked by, stopped when I stopped and resumed following me as I continued on home, flashing a cheeky grin at the lens. It seems Big Brother is alive and well.

Finally I got to meet up with my old friend Julie who brought along her new beau for drinks. We caught up on a year in just two hours. I have moved into central London now and staying in Julies` old room in the nurses quarters. She is just moving in with Brian at the moment so it works out well. They only live a few blocks away so it`s like we are neighbours.

I can`t believe how nice it is too have my own little space in London. From my top floor view I can see tall pointy roofs poking out from the forest of trees. I can lay in my bed and stare out at the clouds drifting by day and the stars shifting by night. I feel so lucky to have such good friends around me. Since I have arrived in the UK I have been taken care of and showered with kindness and love.

I am just recouping at the moment from a weekend of heavy clubbing. My muscles are spent and my head is still spinning from two nights of going hard. But what a feeling to hit the pillow as the sun comes up, body collapsing as if I had just attended a 7 hour aerobic class…

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