Friday, July 15, 2011
londoner for one whole year
I have been here exactly one year today!
A good time to reflect on my first year as an immigrant, I'd say.
It feels like I've been here much longer, although have managed to squeeze in a lot over a year. It's flown by.
A year ago, I was still mourning the selling of my freaking car. Not knowing when I'd drive again.
On packing up my house, I was crying and jumping around in excitement at the same time.
Dude. Talk about a roller coaster of emotions.
After months of visa troubles and bureaucratic wankness, I made it to the other side.
I got off the plane last year, fresh from the World Cup, with a vuvuzela sticking out of the top of my suitcase, singing the Waka Waka song, to arrive at a completely new [crazily stressful] position within my existing company, and to a full-time boyfriend.
Dude. A full-time boyfriend. After a year of long distance. If that isn't a [pleasant] shock to the system, then I dunno what is.
In a year living in the UK, I discovered:
1) that living with a whiny Australian douchetard was a mistake.
2) living in digs first, however, was a wise decision.
3) Sweden, Denmark, Portugal, Vietnam, Thailand, Slovakia, Austria, California, Guernsey, a new part of Germany and revisiting my beloved France.
4) That English food is so goddamn awesome and stodgy, I am now on WeightWatchers as a result of a massive Heathrow Injection.
5) looking for property to buy and moving into our own flat with my Brit two months ago.
6) English people are the funniest, most eccentric nation on the planet.
7) tea. I drink a fuckload.
8) I miss South Africa at times. I get the yearning to see friends and family. The grass isn't greener, but right now London is my home.
9) Guinea pigs. I have English pets!
10) Chavs and that they're actually not funny. They're scary and mostly criminal.
11) South London accents, liiike.
12) Welsh accents. Jesus. What a laugh.
13) Teething phase of London, which consisted of crowds and claustrophobia. Coming from a place where I had the luxury of my own car and tons of space - the crowds and lack of space in London is the thing that got to me the most.
14) Parks and bikes. I bought a bike - Dennis - and ride to work on most days. I've never had the luxury of being able to do that before. Ever.
15) Dude. I could be here all day. I have been in the UK a year. Shit has been discovered.
From tomorrow, I would've been away from home the longest I've ever been away. I haven't returned to South Africa, simply to give myself a real chance of settling in. I'll go back for a holiday in February when Poen gets married.
I had a chat with Dove yesterday, a friend at home I miss terribly.
The mobile telephone provider - Cell C - came up:
Dove: Dude I'm on Cell C and my signal is shocking.
Peas: Oh yeah, remember that. Cell C: Vodacom. But red.
Dove: Dude. How long have you been in London?
Peas: A year tomorrow. Can you fucking believe it.
Dove: Do you know that Vodacom is actually red now, and Cell C is black?
Peas: Jesus Christ. No. No I didn't know that. Are you joking?
Dove: I'm being serious.
Peas: That scares me. I'm totally out of touch with South Africa.
Dove: They're just phone companies.
Peas: I guess.
After a year do I feel more like a Brit than a Saffa? Not a chance. Do I feel like a hybrid? Neither here nor there?
Yes. I am a Prius.