Wednesday, August 27, 2014

those summer nights seem long ago

View from the Hutong bar at The Shard in London

Two weeks ago I was sitting at a dimly-lit bar on the 33rd floor of the tallest building in London, sipping some frighteningly neon-green champagne cocktail the bartender had given my friends and me on the house. There weren't any tables available when we arrived around 10PM on a Monday night, so we ended up sitting at the bar instead; the views of the London cityscape were just as picturesque from our vantage point as anywhere else in the 87 story-tall building. These were the cold glass windows I dreamt of earlier this summer, and I was just as excited to drink it all in during my last week in London as I was when I first arrived.

Maybe what made this month and a half in London so precious was how little time I feel like I actually spent abroad. I had a taste of a vastly different lifestyle in a way that was both palatable and exciting; there was no time to truly settle in to a routine without feeling like I wasn't making every minute count. It's nights like this, spent spontaneously deciding to go to the Shard to take shots of the sparkling twilight skyline, that I'll miss the most. I want to be able to live the rest of my life the way I lived those six weeks in London: not only recognizing the potential for adventure and new experiences each day brings, but actually acting upon those realizations and making memories I can recount in the days to come.

Green tea, lychee liqueur, vodka, and dry ice cocktail; this is what £13.50 looks like. Photo by Stanley Wu Photography
This summer in London was nothing short of a fairy tale. I don't just mean the couple hours spent pretending I was cosmopolitan enough to count having drinks with friends at an upscale bar as part of my typical weekday; I also mean the toast-for-dinner nights my roomie and I made from bread filched from the refectory downstairs, the long yet glorious bus rides that took me across the British countryside, the poor attempts at haggling with street market vendors, and getting lost trying to navigate the London Underground. I still don't even know where to begin to explain my love for this city and all the adventures I had in my six weeks, but I will certainly do my best to tell this story with the words it deserves in the coming weeks and months. Stay tuned for updates to my travel tag, friends, because this blog is officially off hiatus.

I've been back in Berkeley for a week and a half now, and I'm slowly adjusting back to life as a broke college student who can no longer live in denial over the GBP to USD conversion rate. It didn't hit me that the fairy tale was over until the afternoon I moved in to my new apartment and spent the rest of the day scrubbing walls and wiping down furniture to make this place feel a bit more like home. Since then I've chopped off my wavy hair to shoulder length again, started a new writing journal, and am slowly teaching myself how to cook. I promised myself that I would work harder this semester than ever, and so far, I think I've been making good on this promise. I start classes and my new job tomorrow, and even though being back at Berkeley feels like a world apart from living in London, I know I will relish this upcoming school year just as much as I did the year before. 

Last night in London with Andi ♥ Miss you!
Cheers to fall semester!xoxo, vivian

1 comment:

  1. Nice post, wonderful blog :)
    would you like to follow each other via gfc? let me know :)