Wednesday, January 12, 2011

why i live here


I went to see my mate on Sunday who realigned my neck through a series of light crackings.

She was amazing.
To handle my highly strung, neurotic, "Are you going to break my neck? Do chiropractors ever get it wrong and break necks? How easy is it to break a neck?" and highly intense line of questioning.

It's like I've had a wheel alignment. She poked things in my back, under my skull, and clicked things here and there, but most inconspicuously. Plus she's pregnant, so I felt guilty.

Anyway, I haven't had a migraine for a week. Sure, I've cut out coffee, alcohol and all the good things in life, but generally my head doesn't feel like it's going to explode the whole time, which is rather nice.

She asked me if I am happy in London. I get this a lot from my friends; obviously they'd want to know whether I am content with the life I have chosen for myself here. And have worked fucking hard to get, might I add.

The tears and trauma of visa applications, long distance relationship and job transfers was a year of hell for me; so I don't have any choice but to like it here. What a pleasure, I actually have no choice but to embrace the living fuck out of this muddy little isle.

I worked so hard to get to England because I didn't want to be anywhere else. For my mates who have British passports or easier means of getting into the UK, I have found that these are the group of people that don't stay here long.

Britain is hard. It's character building. It's not an easy place to live. Yet, for those of us who have made it our life long mission to be here, stay here and fucking enjoy it, tend to stay here plus five years.

Makes sense.

The 'will I miss it?' test is a good one to gauge happiness.

If this world were ripped away from me tomorrow, what would I miss?

My Brit. I don't know how we managed long distance for a year.

The Brits.

My colleagues, who are now my friends. They are brilliant people. They are also absolutely hysterical.

Sainsbury's Chicken and stuffing sandwich.

Buses.

The ability to see Battersea Bridge whizz past me every morning on the train.

Europe being two clicks away for quick weekends away to exotic places.

Winter fashion and the choice of clothes here.

Victorian and period architecture. With real fireplaces in most houses.

Dare I say it, the tube. I can get somewhere legally when I'm drunk. That's nice.

Pubs and bangers. Never have I had so much sausage. I love sausage.

I can wear red Wellingtons on the street and it's not only acceptable, it's cool.

French cheese in the shops.

France being about 100 kilometres away.

British town names.

Four cities in one. The east, west, north and south of London are four very different places.

Free TV on your laptop.

Summer in Britain. Where the sun goes down at 10:30pm.

Parks. With benches that you can sit on because they're still actually there.

Central heating.

Rural England. With roads that go around trees, pubs that are 8000 years old, and people's whose accents are unrecognisable.

My list could go on. There's a threshold every new immigrant goes through in a new country - where a few things are bound to piss you off about a place. The grass isn't greener. but I am of the opinion a place is truly what you make of it.

And since it is going to be going to be my home for an indefinite period, I choose to love it and make the most of every little bit of it. No matter what it throws at me.

8 comments:

Mom on a Wire said...

I know just what you mean, how did we live before Primark ;-)!

My take on ol' Blighty . . .

http://mom-on-a-wire.blogspot.com/2010/09/if-it-makes-you-happy-it-cant-be-that.html

JJ said...

I'm moving to London in three weeks time and this post has made me very excited :)

Art Jeweller said...

Absolutely the right attitude !

churchaholic said...

You were a bit harsh on Essex earlier - come to Uttlesford and find God's country!

Glad you're settling in.

cestlavietlb said...

The grass is only greener if you water it! :)

Roxy said...

Ahhhh Peas I know so well how you feel. I left, still unsure whether it was the right thing to do, but I needed to change something desperately and instead of changing one thing I did all of it. That's just me.
But check these:
http://apoledancing.blogspot.com/2010/10/i-london.html

http://apoledancing.blogspot.com/2010/11/i-london-part-2.html

and have been working on Part 3.

Peas on Toast said...

Hi guys!

Very cool thought - it just struck me that you are all living in England!
There was a time when only south Africans living in Saffaland read this blog, so it's nice to see fellow Brits/Brit Wannabes reading, so for that, thanks very much :)

Definitely going to read the links you've put up here on your takes on Blighty.
Also good luck for those coming - this is an exciting place, absolutely no doubt.

PS: Churchaholic - I'm willing to try anything once, (well most things), so maybe one day I'll get to Uttlesford!

cassey said...

Yay, for feeling better.