Sunday, July 1, 2012

London Calling. Alone.

The following is the first part of my England blogposts, a personal diary of sorts upon visiting England for the first time. I hope to keep updating them while I am here. They are mainly for me, but feel free to come back and read them if, for some reason, these disjointed personal thoughts interest you too.


I guess the journey begins now. Converted the rupees into pounds yesterday. Bigger than any currency notes I have ever seen. Pretty too with that airbrushed picture of a youthful Queen Elizabeth.

So, off to London in a couple of hours. Without Talha.

Hamesha dayr kar dayta hooN mayN. People i knew used to go to London on family vacations when i was in school. Now that people around me are taking their kids on these vacations, I have finally managed to scrape together my bags and baggage (and scrip and scrippage) to visit England for the first time in my ripe old middle age. Alone. I usually like alone. Alone allows space, freedom and maneuverability, but 11-year-olds can breathe new life into jaded 34 year-old spirits. A frustrated theme park dream can unleash itself safely in the guise of showing it to the kid. Accompanying nausea, dizziness and a general feeling of being let-down upon grasping at a childhood dream in middle age can be diminished by the authentic excitement of the young. But no Alton Towers for me. Not this time.

But there are fancies that have managed to retain meaning even with age. There is a curiosity about the gap between fictional and everyday reality. An imagination pieced together with Peterswood, Daffodils, Baker Street and the Tabard. I am grateful to have an opportunity to try and grasp this difference and fuse my imagination with (my version of) the real England. So, here goes.


  1. I was there without my little princess and boy did I miss her...But when she did join me later we had a ball together. Now I'm in Uganda again without my 6yr old. missing her dearly. Yeah I can say I know how u feel...
    But the truth is one can do so much more being alone.

    Do visit Camdan Town on a Sunday (and Sunday alone)... and don't even think abt getting on London eye..its boring. A 3D movie in iMax is a must.

    I Hope and Pray that u have a great trip...

  2. i remember back in 2010 when we had a conversation and you told me about your plan to visit england. you couldnt make it due to some medical reason if my memory is correct. back then i was in line to visit here for studies tough i never wanted to come here (at least for such a long period of time) however coming here added many new things to my personality and i stronly feel i could not learn them back in Pakistan where i was living rather more luxurious life.
    any ways i shall not spoil your diary with my never ending accounts. all i can say is welcome to england enjoy your stay and if possible plan a meetup it is always great to meet "Good" people from Pakistan here in "Wilayat".

  3. Oh Sabahat! I am so happy that you got this wonderful wonderful opportunity! I hope you have the Most memorable time. Travelling alone gives you a lot of freedom. With that infectious laugh of yours, I am sure you will make new friends easily :) Have fun and keep posting!