Sunday, May 27, 2012

Its London Baby - First new Friend

By seeing London, I have seen as much of life as the world can show.
Samuel Johnson.


This is a travel series about my times in London. You can read the first part here.

Once outside London Heathrow, always opt for a non black cab. You can find local cab numbers on the net which are very reliable. My colleague had already booked one for us. The difference between the two is, while a local cab would cost you 25 pounds for a distance of 15 miles, a black cab would cost you 50-60 pounds. Although the company pays for the travel costs, there was no way a 50 pound taxi bill would be re embursed by HR.

For the first month, a guest house is provided in Wembley (north London) which is a 2 bedroom hall kitchen flat fully furnished and equipped flat for every associate. After a journey of 45 minutes we reached the guest house. Surprisingly I felt no jet lag, considering it was 1:30AM in India. I was just plain excited and upbeat.

Soham was my colleague, who I was too replace. He was a very skillful resource, and my client had high regards for him, so I knew I had very experienced shoes to fill. But I was looking forward to all the hard work, and Soham being my friend, I knew would help me a lot. He had come to receive me at the airport and took me safely to the guest house. He had even purchased a SIM card for me. Purchasing a SIM is very easy in London. You can simply go into any of the grocery stores and buy a prepaid SIM for the rates of 5,10,20 pounds. I always used a Lebara SIM, because India calling was very cheap. You can choose your SIM on the basis of the country you belong to.

Sudha: My first new friend in London

Sudha was the person with whom I was to share my guest. She was 4 years my senior and 2 designations higher, but one look at her, and you would feel she was just out of her college. Petite and extremely thin, she looked like a girl not too friendly, but she did greet me with a smile. Unlike most London roomies I have heard about, she didn't retreat to her room, but instead stayed with Soham and me, till the time he was there. Both of them had made arrangements for my dinner, which felt so good. It didn't feel lonely anymore.

Sudha, was there on a business visa, so she was leaving in a month's time. And although I had the luxury of 6-8 months to discover London, Sudha ensured I was only sight seeing and looking at places all over London on all four weekends that I shared the guest house with her.

The first month in London, with Sudha was fun, but more than fun, it was more of a learning experience. She taught me to cook chicken curry, using fried chicken from the Sam's takeaway(don't try it, very unhealthy place), and I really enjoyed the times spent with her while she cooked(which happened almost everyday, because I had this aversion to cooking then :-P). She was 28 and she was not married. And I judged her, but after I heard what she went through, I felt ashamed. Call me slick minded but I used to think that girls should get married at a certain age. At least I wanted too. But 4 weeks with her, changed my prehistoric notions. She had bought a house back in Pune, and was clear she was there only to replay the loan quicker and faster. Sudha is still my friend and we do meet sometimes. She is still not married and she still looks the same, but each time she meets me, she always think I am growing prettier :-)

More about the whirlwind 4 weeks and the places I visited in the next post. But for now leaving you with a decent pic of Sudha and me :-)

Sudha and me at the Slough station, waiting for the national express in the cold!

33 comments:

  1. I have not travelled abroad or stayed away from the family but I feel a good company when you are alone in a different place makes a lot of difference. I guess we humans sometimes judge people too early including me but the good thing is that you learnt that it was wrong on your part and you both became good friends...:) This was a feel-good post if I can call it so....:) God bless your friendship.

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    1. I used to judge a lot, but that has changed so much after I came back from London. I aged mentally, matured and I like myself a lot more now. And thank you for the blessing :-)

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  2. nice! Hope you are having a wonderful day!
    -Jyoti
    PS. Check out my blog when ever you have time!
    Style-Delights Blog

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    1. I did, and I loved your dress :-)

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  3. Wow meeting a friend in place like that is awesome with that a good one who has similar taste as u you have, can teach and have fun with you :D is something like blessing :D

    wowwwwwwww, Cute pic :D both of you look super fit and cheerful :D
    want to read more :D and wishes to you both let your friendship go long way

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    1. It really was. And oh I miss her now and the times I spent with her! Thanks yaar, and I feel I look so different then :-) younger actually teehee. Thanks so much for the wishes yaar Raya!

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  4. Loved your post Jenny and am sure besides the experience of working in a different country, making new friends, seeing new places and your own personal growth it was just a tremendous learning!

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    1. Couldn't agree more Rahulji. I have grown and I feel that. London was the best thing that happened to me! Thank you for your comment!

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  5. Wow .. eagerly waiting for next parts :)
    Awesome post and you are incredible story teller!!

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    1. Thank you so much for the comment chol. Your comments are so so sweet!

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  6. I am loving reading your London chronicles. :)

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    1. Thank you Ria :-) I hope to keep it exciting.

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  7. I just love london, was there last year... such a friendly and vibrant city!
    Good post!

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    1. oh wow! you were there too! wonderful, I am sure you would enjoy these series.

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  8. Awww.. Nice Pic Jenny.. U look really pretty. Its so nice to find new friend in a city which is completely new to us. :) Waiting for the other posts on your London Journey..:) Keep sharing..

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    1. Thanks so much Sonia :-) Yes it is indeed. I really want to pen down those days! yes I will. Thanks for the comment.

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  9. Well I read your 1st and 2nd post both and its very challenging work thousand miles away far from your home and relative. If I will have to do this i would be a home sick. But great You landed London with great spirit plus the support your father who gave strengh and asked you to learn every bit of it. Your pic with your friend Sudha is lovely. Keep sharing Your London experience:)

    keep writing:)

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    1. Hey thanks yaar Mithlash for visiting the older post as well :-) Yes papa gave me real good strength, and it helped me to get out of the home sick wala feeling. Thank you so much for the comment :-)

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  10. :) ah ha london is beautiful ..
    and good to hear you had a good time there toooo

    I wish you were here when i started coming to ur blog would have loved to meet up with you :)

    so more to comeeeeeeee

    Bikram's

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    1. Oh Yes it is beautiful! I came back last year Jun 31. I wish I could meet you toooo! That would have been a new learning experience as well.

      Yes more to come, hope it comes out good!

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  11. You know finding friends in a new country is the best thing that can happen to anyone. You know there was a time when I judged people but now I think to have a good bonding, leave judging and comparing. BTW, looking forward to pics and description of sight seeing in London. Thanks for this one.

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    1. I agree Saru. Sudha was such a dear friend when I was in London. Yes judging is bad. may work sometimes but most times it doesn't! Thank you so much Saru for the comment. Hopefully the next one comes out good.

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  12. Aaah London....it feels like second home now :) keep coming the London stories. when i read them i feel nostalgic..nice Pic :D

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    1. hey Ash, yes it is second home to us! I really want to go back again, atleast for a month!

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  13. What a great joy to have a roomie who was so congenial to make you food- and show you around- better still that she is still your friend. She sounds wonderful. Love the pic- and look forward to the continuation of this- shall I link this part two to the initial blog post?

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    1. haha connie, It really is! Suhc a darling she is. Oh please do go ahead and link it. I am still not sure how many parts the London series would have, but I would love to go on and on about London!

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  14. hey, lovely post!! will come back and read the first part. enjoyed the read and learnt many things as well :)

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    1. Thank you so much for visiting and the comment. Looking forward to your comment on the part1!

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  15. I wanna go here :(

    love
    http://www.meghasarin.blogspot.com

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    1. It is an awesomely fashion consicious city. I am sure you would love it there!

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  16. Nice post and pic Jenny. You are still in London? Sorry yaar, was out of blogging for some weeks now, have a lot to catch up on..

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    1. Nopes yaar, this is from 2008-2009-2010 expericnes. And hey don't apologise at all :-) Always looking forward to your comments.

      Also, caught the french open? Djok giving away on a double fault :-(

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So what do you think?