Moving abroad is a challenge. I’ve celebrated some little victories so far–finding a store that sells vegan cheese, putting my Oystercard in a designated holder, remembering my old 4OD password. Some confusions–trying to turn around without people realising I’ve gone the wrong way, the suspicious smell of bleach in the lift after the first night of Fresher’s Week, accepting that if I want a thermos that doesn’t leak soup all over my bag it’s going to cost £20 no matter what store I find it in. Hearing the line “oh, I didn’t realise you were an international student” when I speak.
At this point in Fresher’s Week at Exeter, I was still a panicky mess. Now, without the safety net of Kenyon to catch me, England feels a lot different. I feel like I’ve found my feet here, even if it’s just through knowing what pub will serve as my local (the one with vegan Sunday roast, duh). I have to figure out how to use the uni printers, how to open a bank account, what conditioner will make my hair tolerate this hard water, all on my own. Is this “adulting”? (I cringe whenever I hear that word.)
It’s a beautiful day today. When I announced I was going to London it seemed all I heard was about how much it rains. But right now I’m sitting in my kitchen, finishing my aggressively English lunch of Linda McCartney sausages, chips and peas, looking at a beautiful blue sky over Peckham. It will rain, at some point. But I don’t need to think about that right now.