United Kingdom 2013

Gloomy sky didn't change, rainy days didn't change
Red bus didn't change, postbox didn't change
England didn't change, London didn't change
Only I did changed

USA > Mexico > Peru > Bolivia > Chile > Argentina > Portugal > Spain > Morocco > France > United Kingdom - 2012 / 13

United Kingdom Itinerary - London - Edinburgh

England, used to be the place I love the most. This is the place where strived hard, partied wild, fucked up my life, lost my mind and then I grew again, restarted my life again, and happily lived my every day again. Really, I used to think it everyday that this is the place I will forever stay. That's why I never thought I would be leaving this place for good when I boarded onto the plane with my return tickets that Christmas, that one day I would forget all my belongings, forget the one who was still waiting me in our apartment, forget all of my seven years of unforgettable memories in England.

The very heartless me eventually deleted every piece of my memories of England after I left and never thought of coming back. Since I never missed any of my unforgettable moment, of course never I missed the No.19 London Bus that used to send me to class everyday during the first year I moved there, Charing Cross train station where I shuttled through before and after work, National Gallery where I passed through every lunchtime, Fabric and Fire where I partied till dawn every weekend, Selfridges where I bought super cheap designer brands after Christmas, Portobello Market where I went find treasures every after my 8mm projectors got broken again and again, and the most romantic Tower Bridge where I always imagined myself as the main actress of the most beautiful love story every time I ran through it.

Yes, I got no reason to revisit London again since I had already been to every corners of the city, where it worths seeing or not. The only reason I came back this time was because of a promise, a promise I made to my Argentinian good friends when we were in South America. I had promised them to come to England to clap for the music and cheer for their dreams if one day I came back to Europe. Honestly, I was really happy for them as it is definitely not easy to bring independent voice to another country, not to mention to another continent.

However I felt so sad after I arrived. I have been having sunny blue sky and beautiful white clouds almost every day in the past year, I could hardly stand this gloomy and rainy weather right here in front of my eyes. I felt so sad everytime when I raised my head. I couldn't stop asking myself, how could I lived under such a horrible sky for seven years. The answer was simple it came straight to my head, London didn't change, only I did changed.

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What made me breathless was the ongoing crowds that come and go and come and go everywhere in the capital. Specially when I was being squeezed and bumped and kicked like every other passenger on the platform when we were all waiting for the same underground, I wasn't only feeling dizzy physically I was like having hurricane internally. Both my body and my soul were being trapped, I just couldn't breathe easily. I really couldn't believe myself that I was the same as every other Londoners years ago, reading Metro and listening iPod inside the caged carriage every day, not needed to see any signage but just accord to memory to run to another platform and jump onto the train, making sure I could step inside the office or lie on my bed in within the shortest time and the most accurate minutes every day and night. The crucial part is I never felt tense at all, but appreciated the easy access of London transports, and the efficiency of London trains, buses and undergrounds. I felt having the privilege of enjoying such an efficient pace only because I lived in such an efficient metropolis. I used to think I would never be behind only if I had such a frequent timetable. Also I used to think it is part of prosperity only if I saw such lots of crowds in a crammed city. Yes it was me, I used to be.

Metro - Free newspaper published by London Underground

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I saw grey old buildings still being grey, and still being old, when I was walking on the familiar streets. The centuries old shops, classic theatres and high end department stores, were still locating behind the same old door plates. As if they were showing me the way to recall my old memories, remembering my excitement the first time I took a photo with the phone booth, remembering my lost soul inside the double-decker bus, remembering my determination to move to the capital.

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I remembered that winter when I first moved to London, every dawn when the sky was still completely dark, I put my long black jacket on and jumped onto a double-decker bus, looking at the uninteresting scenery outside the window until it ran past Westminster Bridge, I stared at the beautiful British Parliament and heard the Big Ben chimed at five, then the bus passed through the quiet Whitehall and reached the empty Trafalgar Square, where I always raised my head to look at Nelson's Column, and then quickly walked to Chinatown, folded my sleeves and started mopping the floor cleaning the toilet and delivering WonTon until noon when I jumped onto another double-decker bus, that send me to my classroom, my goal and my dream.

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I understand that people who chase after his dreams has his own stories, because I also did strived hard to chase my own dream. To outsiders, it may be tough it may be bitter. However to that person, it is actually passion, that he productively living his every day, happily facing his every challenge. Just like my very good friends The Otherness, a rock band from Argentina, they still had to buy food from supermarket and prepare dinner at home every night no matter how late it was to maintain budget, they still had to contact bars repeatedly every day to confirm and increase show venues, they still had to act like PR in any moment and running everywhere anytime to contact media, they still had to wake up every morning after only a few hours of sleep to strive towards their goal, behind the scene of their fabulous shows.

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During my days in Buenos Aires, I felt truly happy for the four big boys every time when I heard them excitedly discussing about the progress of their England tour. I really do support them because it is not even easy for one person to strive for his goal, imagine how hard it is to have four people fighting for a single goal in another country another continent. Moreover, it is really meaningful to me to have the chance to follow their music their dreams overseas. For that tour, not only they performed in London, but also in Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield, Warrington and many more cities in England, successfully sending their Argentinian independent voice to many more audiences overseas.

The Otherness - https://www.facebook.com/OthernessRock

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I managed to meet a couple of my old friends and classmates during my stay in London. Although my friends came from different countries different backgrounds, they had given me the same bunch of questions coincidently. Where I am I heading next? How am I going to make a living when I got there? How could I continue living on the road while I continue moving on? Honestly, I didn't know, I really didn't know. During the previous year I travelled from the north to the south of America, where I had the luck to have found some jobs but still I got the excuse of not having proper working visa or residency to ignore this bunch of questions again and again. But I was already back to Europe, where I got the passport and residency, I got no more excuses not to face this bunch of questions seriously. Gosh, I wasn't only sad, but also very lost, after I saw my friends.

So, I was sad and I was lost when I boarded onto the train that carried me to Edinburgh. However I only saw a darker sky hidden with more sadness once I arrived and raised my head. In theory my hostel was only five minutes walk from the train station, but under the strong wind and cold rain the very clumsy me couldn't manage to hold my umbrella and carry my bag at the same time, it took me more than half an hour to pull my heavy luggage to the front door of my hostel which was located at the peak of a steep road. I felt really bad while I was struggling on that steep road, not only I was sad and lost, I felt my old injuries my neck and shoulder syndrome had sharply returned, my muscle and nerve were crying loudly for help. In fact, I started having headache after seeing an osteopath in France, even though the doctor said I was alright. I also started hearing alarm signals from my old injuries during my stay in London so I went to Chinatown to have acupuncture, and the practitioner also said I was alright. I wouldn't be coming to Edinburgh if they told me I wasn't alright. However the brutal reality proved me I wasn't alright, my body was getting worse as the weather was getting worse.

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Not only the sky of Edinburgh was dark, the architectures were also very dark. Darkness was everywhere but it had created unbelievably beautiful depressive sceneries that touched my heart. During my few days of visit, repeatedly I wandered from Royal Mile to Palace of Holyroodhouse, then returned to Waverley Railway Station, past through the narrow alleyways, walked on the wet cobbled stones, to reach my hostel. On the repeated journey I saw every building was stuck with layers of thick dust, covering their centuries long of histories and memories. In every step not only I pondered the reason of sadness behind these walls, also I pondered the future steps of my life.

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Braved the wind and rain I still walked on the streets of Edinburgh with my weak body only because I fell in love with a movie called "One Day". I had never been so obsessed to a movie, but in this movie it tells the stories of two very good friends who keep on loving but separating from each others for 20 years, it is the kind of love story I always dream of, that I wish it would happened on me one day. In the movie Emma and Dexter meet on the their university graduation in Edinburgh, where they start falling in love with each others. For 20 years they grow apart in different directions and they have different partners in different stages of their lives. Never they were together through the years but they still meet each others on one same day every year, they still think of each others inside their hearts. For 20 years they are still deeply in love each others, no matter what it happens, how the world changes.

If one day I fell in love with someone, seeing him for just one day a year is enough for me, truly enough for me. Because we will have 364 extra days on our separate paths to learn about the definition of true love, and one very precious day to practice it in the most loving way. It doesn't matter if we screwed up with he or she on when and where, what it really matters is we learn from the bloody mess, so we know how to love each others until the end.

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I hadn't been to everywhere that Emma and Dex had been to, but I ran up to Carlton Hill to look at Authur's Seat, where they started falling for each others, to feel how they hope for love, for life, for future when they were young. I remembered I were young too, when I was not afraid of the very harsh criticises of the world and the sudden death of a relationship, that I kept on walking on the path I wanted. I still not afraid of the unknown values of the world after so many years, I still keep on walking on the path I want. However in this moment I lost my passion, I lost my beautiful imagination of my next destination. Although I didn't have any itinerary in the past year running from North America to South America, I had a clear direction that the south of South America was my destination. Before I went back to Europe I thought I could start a new life here, but then I was lost in direction, to where exactly I should head to. Ironically because in this familiar continent of mine I have too much freedom to move around, with no limit in terms of time.

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