Travel Log 5: Conversations by Mazel B.Genfi London, UK

It is my fourth week in London and I’m really wishing that this will be kind to me. I’m always joking around that  someone does not like that I am abroad and wishing me bad luck. I actually believe it at this point. Yesterday, a bird flew into my room (yes, that is what I’m going with) and tried to peck at my snacks. I’m definitely sure it wasn’t a rodent. Anyways, on top of that, I pierced my nose just to have it fall out of my nose during my sleep and now I have to wait a whole month to get it done over again. And, do not let me get started on the boys here. London has been this up and down roller coaster of a trip and I’m deciding to ride it out because I’m here for the experience.

 

I have many conversations here in London, and literally my favorite british person here is my one of my classmates, Hibo. Hibo is a somali girl from Manchester and she obsesses over me because I’m from New York. When the truth is, I’m obsessed with her because shes from this country. We went out to lunch after class and kind of talked about cultural differences and similarities between and I’ve gained so much from here.

She found it weird that we obsessed over the royal family. I told her that’s all we knew when it came to England. Her exact response, “All she does is sit on her butt and live in a palace.” I quietly cackled, because one of the first things I did when I got here was go to Buckingham palace and I’m waiting for the day to see the changing of the guards. She told me the places that I was going to for parties and food wasn’t the places that London had best to offer. She told how I should walk around a little bit deeper in our neighborhood and try the places around me, especially Sweets, a dessert shop nearby.

 

We then talked about morals here within the country. She talked about it from a muslim perspective. She talked about how muslim are so conservative and it can be kind of annoying because London is so free spirited and open. She called it very “Jarring”. She wished she could be more of herself, but has to follow the values that she wa raised on.

Another thing we spoke about was the lack of products for people of color even though this city boasts about diversity. You have to search far and wide for the things you need. Anyways, Hibo has been guide for me here and I honestly appreciate her. She has been a guardian angel in helping me understand the culture here and her understanding mine.

 

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