It’s been 3 weeks today, from the day I landed in London – 3 wonderful weeks! I thought that this would be a good time to look back and write in ‘type letters’ some of my experiences.
When I got out at Heathrow Airport, London, and peeked out at the roads outside, I freaked out and heard the little voice inside me freaking out saying – “Oh my God, I am in London! Who the hell does this?! Who ???” But the moment I saw my sister, who came to pick me up at the airport, I felt just as at home as I do … well in New York :) This was Sunday, July 11th – 3 weeks ago !
I’ve done a lot of things in the past 3 weeks – I’ve taken a couple of courses of my interest and met a lot of new people there – some of who I might even meet again as they’ve become good friends :) I’ve seen London, as a non-tourist, by foot, by tube, and by buses. In other words, I haven’t been to the Buckingham palace, or seen the changing of the Guards, yet, nor have I seen the Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, or the St Paul’s Cathedral. But what I have done is walk down the south bank of the Thames River, heard hilarious stories about the people who broke into the Buckingham palace, watched Oliver Wilde’s LIVE Play, “An Ideal Husband”, found and went to the Sai Baba Temple, sat in several cafes for hours sipping my cappuccino slowly, went to the Sunday Up Market, Spittalfield Market, and the Camden Market, and eaten Meringue (some English Sweet)!
Meeting new people, making new friends and doing the non-touristy things, some with the new friends, has been a great experience! It made me realize that a 5 day vacation, ‘do-the-touristy-things-then-back-to-work’ does not do justice to our soul, if we want more. If one wants to immerse themselves in the new country and the new culture, and wants to learn, then the vacations got to be different! You’ve got to meet and spend some time with the people of the country and do some non-touristy things with them – it will be a more eye-wakening thing and more satisfying than just seeing the country’s various ‘should-not-miss’ sites! I remember, that in 2001, on my official trip to Bristol, UK, I visited London for 2-3 days before going back to New York. I didn’t like London at all, then. This time, I am absolutely loving it!
So, 3 weeks later, I would say that I am happy :) I am happy because of all the new experiences I’ve had and probably also because I feel free :) I am freed from a lot that I didn’t even realize had me captive, back home. And being free feels good – makes me happy .. at least for now :) and now is what I want to live in :)
Be happy :) “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” – Mahatma Gandhi