Sunday, 19 April 2015

How's it back in London Town?

This week I was in England for a few days. I had chosen the dates based on the lowest flight price, but by the time the trip actually rolled around, it was very welcome.

Truth be told, I've been feeling rather burnt out in Berlin over the past month or so. (Could I have ever imagined saying such a thing a year ago? No way. More proof that visiting a city and living there are totally different.) After talking with fellow metropolis-dwelling friends, I just think it's something that's part and parcel of city life, no matter how strong the passion that initially brought you there.

We concluded that although in a city you're surrounded by possibilities, the key is to be ambitious but to do everything step by step; to not want or expect everything all at once. Definitely something for me to keep in mind as I start my new part-time job, while at last having the proper time and energy to dedicate to my freelance work.

I spent some time in the countryside with my family before making a day trip to London.

Ah, London... unfortunately, for me it's more like "Aargh, London". I can only really spend one day there before getting too stressed out. I won't deny that it's given me some great memories over the years, but I just cannot get to like it as a whole.
I was eager to find out whether my feelings about the Big Smoke would be different now that I have been living in a large city for six months - in the past, was it simply a case of culture shock?

It was a bit of a whistle-stop tour of friends I hadn't seen in ages. In the morning I met up with Adam, one of my uni best. We'd talked about finding some kind of brunch and Google did yield some results: alas, it seems that London is only really vegan on weekends. Still, we ate and drank the usual for a few hours at Wetherspoons by Camden Lock. Afterwards, we did stumble across a little raw-vegan place called Inspiral where I had a "roseberry" sorbet (a combination of strawberry and raspberry), which was a nice surprise.

Afterwards, we walked from the Embankment up to Exmouth Market. I sat in a nice café while waiting to meet up with Alice and Andy, and reflected upona how it had been a long time since I'd seen buildings that looked like this.

For dinner, we made a visit to Hummus Brothers in Holborn. There are a few branches in London and as a self-proclaimed hummus lover, it was long overdue. I got some kind of falafel salad, and it all tasted good, but still, the vegan options weren't marked as clearly as I'd have liked. This is pretty important when it comes to places selling this kind of food, as often they add things like yoghurt or feta as a matter of course. We then hit Covent Garden and had some drinks before I caught my train back to the country.

It had been a lovely day but I was totally shattered at the end. Admittedly, my time was spent in Central London, where it seemed to a lot more efficient to just walk between stations instead of going through the bother of the barriers and positively sweltering on the Tube. Unlike in Berlin, there's less of a sentiment of "I may as well use public transport, seeing as I've paid for the day/week/month" because in London, you pay per journey and according to distance.

Anyway: I'm back with a renewed appreciation for Berlin!