A quick post again before I head off to bed. I never thought I’ll say this, but my mood has already been affected by the earlier incident where I was unable to meet Zaf at the airport. It was further affected when I started feeling sick on the 3-hour bus journey from London to Norwich; and finally, plummeted to a lower spirit when my friends started talking about their post-exchange trip plans and the regret of not extending my trip began to sink in.
Days are long in the UK. The sun sets about 9-10pm. It is now summer, a far cry from the Aussie winter that I have left behind. However, the moonlit night stills give me so much comfort as I am typing this. I have checked into my university’s accommodation, and my window faces the moon directly, which I love, because I can watch the moon as I fall into a deep slumber.
I have always wondered if I am the sort of person to be affected by jet-lag. I found out the answer today. Turns out I’m not! I’m perfectly fine. Not tired, not sore. My body clock has always been quite flexible.
My bedroom is perfect. It is just the perfect size, I wouldn’t want it to be too big either. The bed is sooooo soft!!! Also, this is the first time in my life where I would sleep on a single bed. I have always been spoiled with queen/king sized beds I don’t know why. Not that I would go out of my way to get it, it just happens. It’s now 1.25am, and I have finally finished all my unpacking. I’m the kind of person who likes to unpack all at one-shot and prefers not to do my packing in segments. It was looking pretty bare and empty when I arrived, but now I’ve decorated it with fairy lights, put up my assessories, I even bought my pillow covers from home. Those pink ones that I bring wherever in the world I go. I made it a rule. To make anywhere feel like home ehehe. After I’m done, I stand back to admire my work, looking around the room that will be mine for some time.
However, I have begun to feel lonely. This isn’t how an exchange is supposed to feel like. I am feeling anxious. I wanted this to be a fulfilling and fruitful experience. Given that today is only the first day, I think I should give it a chance.
I thought about why I might be feeling lonely. It isn’t that I missed home, I have been faraway from home for too long, I know: it’s the lack of familiar interaction in a foreign country. If I had met Zaf at the airport, or if I had known I am going to meet Sin Ming tomorrow in London, I might not feel so terrible after all. My current new friends I’ve just made seem like awesome people, but sharing happiest moments with familiar faces always cheers me up.
Zaf’s miss at the Heathrow airport got to me. I was made to leave the airport for Norwich just as her plane landed. She almost got to me, I asked her to run. I remember. She sent me her live location via Whatsapp, and I sent her mine too, with both of us realizing we’re barely a few miles away from each other. “Do we have to go now?” I asked. “Yes, now.” the student representative’s tone tells me there’s no time for a delay. My coach bus was waiting, along with all my friends already sitting inside, prepped. I began to step away from the airport: glancing back occasionally hoping a familiar face might catch up with me. Still nothing. I’ll remember this moment forever: because that’s when I realize Zaf’s such an important friend to me. It’s not the same meeting back in Singapore again. It’s something about seeing a familiar face on foreign ground that touches me. So close yet so far.
To make things worse, Lucas texted me giving me an unconfirmed reply to our promised plans to travel together. I hate things like this, hanging, uncertain. I hate people backing out on me. But most of all, I’m scared, not of traveling alone, but the thought of my limited time here. That made me feel uncomfortable. I am anxious that I can’t cover most good destinations on time, I feared that I would waste time, I feared that I would not make full use of my trip, where flight tickets are so expensive it’s better to cover most cities in one-shot so that I don’t come back unnecessarily again.
I was supposed to go to London tomorrow but I don’t think I can go now. There, bring my hopes up just to crush it again. I have orientations tomorrow, and I am sick. My stomach was churning during the bus ride to Norwich. I think I might have gastric flu. It happened so suddenly, almost like cramps, until it got worse and I started to suspect whether it was something I ate at Caffe Nero. On the tour bus, I heard this girl sitting diagonally across me ask another girl beside her if she watched Sherlock. I didn’t mean to eavesdrop, but I think they were on the topic of London. I wanted to scream yes, yes I do and I am a huge fan and I want to go to London, but I was too shy to do so. Instead, I close my eyes and their conversations died shortly after because the other girl did not watch Sherlock.
We’ll see, maybe tomorrow.
Thanksgiving today: smooth clearing of customs, smooth VISA procedure, no missing luggage, safe and pleasant flight.
Disappointments: Lucas’ response, Unable to meet Zaf
I just want to travel to London with like-minded people like me and overcome my greatest fear of wasting this trip to the UK. Besides London, I have thought of Paris and Windsor but have no other states in mind. Any ideas?