One year on

Today is exactly one year since I came to London.

Maybe I should go “celebrate”. Maybe go out and eat a plate of char siu fan.

Although I don’t know what I’m “celebrating” about.

And I don’t know what eating a classic Hong Kong dish of roast pork and rice for dinner has anything to do with coming to London.

I feel the need to mark the occasion somehow.

But I don’t know why I should.


Exactly one year ago today, I stepped off my plane from Hong Kong and found myself sitting on a bench in Heathrow, excited of a new start.

In some of my lowest days, my friends provide me with support and encouragement, saying that, from experience, it takes at least one year for people to settle down and find their place in a new location.

Today, it is one year.

In one year, I have learnt to cook. (No mean feat!)

In one year, I have started recycling. (In HK, it’s an activity I view with cynical hippy undertones.)

In one year, I have discovered, and learnt to face, some truly horrible things about myself. (Like the tagline to the movie Moon: “250,000 miles from home, the hardest thing to face…is yourself”)

In one year, I have discovered theatre and it’s consistently put a big grin on my face.

In one year, I have discovered cycling and have become geeky enough to buy waterproof trousers for the rain.

In one year, I have discovered the great outdoors and bought my first hiking boots.

In one year, I have cried more than I’ve ever cried in my entire life.

In one year, I have been utterly down and beaten and managed to survive the recession.

In one year, I experienced real Christmas for the first time and found it utterly magical.

In one year, I have discovered that being by myself and exploring can actually be a lot of fun.

In one year, I made a snowman for the first time since 1989.

When I started writing this, I didn’t know what there is to celebrate.

But looking back, I think perhaps there is something to celebrate after all. Whatever it is. Even if it’s just an excuse to treat myself to a meal out.

And so char siu fan it is.


5 thoughts on “One year on

  1. Cool post! I wish I had stopped to think about things like this after my first year here. It is all so distant now. I think you have done so many cool things for the first time. I have to say my joy of snow and snow men will probably never wear off!

  2. Well done! Things can only get better. My first year in London wasn’t all that fun, it’s still a mystery why i chose to stay. But now I think that’s one of the best decision I’ve ever made.

    I don’t actually remember when exactly I came here although it wasn’t too long ago…

  3. Yeah, I wouldn’t say it’s been all fun and games. Someone asked me yesterday whether my time here so far has been more happy or more sad. I said 50-50.

    Then I thought about what I said – Isn’t being sad 50% of the time pretty down right…SAD?!

    But yes, I do keep myself up and running, throwing myself into going places, doing new things, giving myself projects and goals. Coz otherwise I’ll probably end up 100% sad!

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