I come home to the States in a little over two weeks. But at the same time I feel like I’m leaving home by leaving London. Eliza said it perfectly- I’m ready to leave the Centre, but I’m not ready to leave London. I don’t think I’ll ever by ready to leave this city. Ready to leave the tube, the colored buildings, the polluted air, Hyde Park, the double decker buses, Parliament Square, the ancient architecture, the castles and cathedrals and underground tunnels. I love everything about this city, and I could live here for the rest of my life.
Especially since we’ll be in Paris for half of next week, I’m starting to get panicky about leaving my London. Even though I know exactly what to expect in Provo- I have lived there for 2 1/2 years after all, I have friends there and I know what classes I’m taking and I have a job- it’s still change. Change from the life I’ve found in London, a life that I LOVE. I felt the same way leaving Provo to come here. Big shifts like this from the day to day life I’ve grown used to awaken the anxious bug inside me, even if it’s a change I’m looking forward too. I’ve missed a lot this semester about my home in the States- my friends, BYU campus, fast food restaurants, driving in the car, things like that- but my love for England has trumped that, and so the idea of leaving it all scares me. And maybe it’s an irrational fear, but as I walked around today, tapping my Oyster card on the way to the Underground, strolling through Hyde Park, eating market food on the sidewalk and waiting outside Tesco for Rachel to grab a drink, my heart started aching for my British home that I’m going to have to leave. The idea of not moving back as soon as I possibly can makes my heart hurt, and I say that in complete seriousness. I’m not the biggest fan of change, so I’m scared to leave, but for the next two weeks, I’m going to try my best to ignore the sad fact that I’m going to have to part ways with London for a little bit and focus solely on the things I downright love about this city life.
So, without further ado, let me tell you how much I love markets and Hyde Park.
This market was so hipster and smokey my glasses were smoggy and my phone screen grimy as I walked out. The tiny little side street was so packed with people you could hardly move. There were flags strung across the alleyway and the air smelled like grease and cigarette smoke, but the food. THE FOOD WAS SO. GOOD. Mrs. Finco recommended Maltby Street Market and it did not disappoint. I had the best gyoza OF MY LIFE and I think I’ll dream about it until I die. Rachel and I got gyoza to share (we also got a waffle and thought we’d be full after splitting two different things), and then a couple minutes later, after we’d devoured them, we were back in line for our own. The cashier gave me a sly look and I laughed and said, “yep, I’m back!” He laughed and pointed at their sign and said,” did you share?” When I admitted that I had, he laughed and said, “you’re not supposed to share!” (He’s right, their sign says #nosharing).
Next up on things I love about London- Hyde Park. Now that the weather has warmed up and plants are starting to come back to life, I absolutely love Hyde Park. I’ve started wandering around it as I talk on the phone, and afterwards I usually find myself sitting on the steps of the Albert Memorial people watching or sitting on a patch of grass somewhere quieter and just closing my eyes, soaking up the peacefulness of nature. I love how BIG Hyde Park is. Really, I just love how huge cities like London and New York have these enormous green spaces right in the center of the city, and people just flock there. Both Central Park and Hyde Park have huge ponds and castles and wide open spaces in them, and yet you can still see snippets of the city skyline just over the trees. It’s my favorite thing.
London, I love you.