After a long weekend in Istanbul we flew straight to London with Maomao and Fred.
It was our first visit to Europe in two years.
Since we moved to Hong Kong whenever I spoke of my twelve years in London, I always said that I enjoyed the first six years and then spent the next six convincing Husband to move somewhere else.
Since the move, whenever asked I would say that we would never move back to Europe, that apart from people (family and friends) the only thing I missed was the food.
I was surprised to realise that even in Istanbul, at the outskirts of the continent, I really missed Europe – a lot. As much as I love living in Hong Kong and traveling around Asia, Europe feels like home.
We only had three days to spend in London before heading to Poland so we made sure that we enjoyed those days as much as we could. We left Mamomao’s apartment early each morning and came back well after dinner time. We spent our days seeing friends, Husband’s family, walking around central London (like typical tourists), shopping with Maomao (the sales had started), eating out and my favourite: people watching.
What did I re-discover during these three days? Parks, coffee shops with plenty of empty seats and great baked goods, diversity, restaurants, old buildings, the Thames and the view of Tower Bridge, Borough Market, the new red buses.
I never noticed how quiet it is in cafes and restaurants and people are genuinely nice. They smile, hold doors open, happily exchanging a few sentences with total strangers. That was very surprising. I never noticed it before.
There are so many places to see and things to do.
Not sure if I would ever move back to London to live, but loved spending time there.
Protesters at the Oxford Circus Benetton shop demanding the company compensate Rana Plaza victims – it was the 1st anniversary of the factory collapse. Impressively, they managed to get the shop closed on the first day of their summer sale!
The one thing that hadn’t changed: I still hate travelling on the tube.