DAY 28 in London:
Now (09.09.2016, 6.52pm) as I’m writing about Miriam’s and my last day in London, roughly two months has passed since that day. You know how no matter how much time passes, no matter what takes place in the interim, there are some things we can never assign to oblivion, memories we can never rub away? This day was a round-up of a trip that was just that — memories I can never rub away. I still remember everything (or at least a good 90%) that happened, just like it took place just yesterday. Sigh, it was a wonderful wonderful month of unforgettable adventures, timely enlightenments and much-needed heart to heart connections.
We began our short day at Camden Market (aka. Camden Lock), which was a large compound collectively made up of little retail stalls selling crafts, clothing, books, food and bric-à-brac among many other bits and bobs. Aim: Find Cookies & Scream! After a short stop at an art-and-craft section where Miriam bought a handmade miniature crane necklace charm, we headed to the food, which was bustling and slightly chaotic as vendors shouted from every which way, “try some try some of the ____!” Shoving our way through the hordes of people, we stopped once to try falafels (which, by the way, were amazing) before powering on in our search for ice cream.
Cookies & Scream was a lot harder to find than we thought it’d be, but after asking a weird man (weird because his over the top friendliness was on the border of being frightening) for directions, consulting our offline maps, and one too many incorrect turns, we finally make it and were spoilt for choice. Cookies, special cool cookies, brownies, pies, donuts, shakes, … seriously Cookies & Scream?! Why did You make it so difficult for us? (What I meant to say is, “thank You!”) We reigned in our cookie fantasies and managed to settle for something — an oatmeal cookie, a peanut butter and chocolate chip cookie and vanilla ice cream! Life = made, mind = blown, taste buds = in heaven.
Making our way to Primrose Hill (don’t You just love its name?!) to meet Hannah, Simren and Reshem, London reminded us, ever so timely, to ‘Breathe Consciously’ — “We don’t remember that the breath has got any importance for us. We do not know that we are attached to the breath. We think it is automatic. And to develop intuition, you must have your breath, the basic elementary power of all life, under your control. If you can command the breath of life and consciously breathe, you can be in command of your life and environments will relate to you as per your wish.” (Read more here)
We scaled Primrose Hill, all the way to the peak where others had already set up picnics, and sat down on an empty bench to take in, quite literally, all of London. A green, undulating space went on for miles before us, looking over the turrets and beyond Regents Park to the beautiful, charming city that is London. There’s something magical about being at a vantage point that makes one reflect on life — all one has seen, felt, and learned — and how much more of the world is still left to experience. Retrospective and calming.
We waited and waited and waited but still no sign of the trio, and seeing as we still had to do a little bit of packing before leaving for the airport, we decided to leave, but not before we wrote a note for them and slipped it into a small slot in the bench were sitting on. (We gave them instructions as to how to find it.) But suddenly, in the distance, we see Hannah, Simren and Reshem making their way to us! They had gotten a little carried away buying food for the picnic we were supposed to have hahaha. We ended up staying for about 10 – 15 minutes to enjoy some final moments with them (featured above). 🙂
The thought of travelling back home that evening — excitement yet slight reluctance to leave this wonderful part of the world — had left us half-heartedly participating in activities, and this was evident when we had forgotten to take the keys for the apartment! Thank goodness Simren remembered in time and Reshem came running behind us.
The parts of London that we walked through on this day was especially incredible. Remember when London reminded us to ‘breathe consciously’ earlier on? We spotted another quote someone had chalked on a wall:
I love the life so the life loves me
That’s how simple it really be
It took a while for me to see
That if you love the life
It will love you back
That’s the truth of it
That’s a fact
Our rush didn’t matter in the moments that we spent reading the quote. It would have been a pity if we had given it less attention than it so rightly deserves. Timely it certainly was.
Travel guides weren’t kidding when they said to leave one’s accommodation 3-5 hours before one’s flight (departing from Heathrow), because we certainly took a long time to get to Heathrow (we took the tube)! We spent the long journey very ‘wisely’ — trying to crack the Da Vinci Code that was the tune Miriam had stuck in her head! She’d try to hum/ sing the tune for me, again and again and again, and although it got more and more familiar for me with time, I just couldn’t pinpoint which song it originated from. I’m not the best person for this — I almost never remember a song’s title! UGH!
So we finally cracked the code, but in the weirdest possible way: In the sea of planes, I came across ‘Iberia Airlines’ and something in me clicked, “this song might have the word ‘Iberia’ in it… I think…” Seconds later, I suddenly recall the song ‘I Took A Pill In Ibiza’! I don’t think both of us had ever listened to a song that enthusiastically hahaha!
Now on to the plane, it was such a hilarious situation that we were in. We sat beside a man who loved putting his blanket over his head (he was bald so I reckoned his head would get cold easily) and he was so full of angst that he even complained his veggie patty looked too ‘meaty’ (he’s a Vegetarian)! He wasn’t particularly happy either when we were over the moon about getting extra bread…
We watched ‘Julie and Julia’, enjoyed being served earlier because we chose the VGML option (ahha!) and bonded over müsli dessert — müsli has taken on a special meaning for us. 28 days of müsli before train rides, during train rides, before bed, in bed, … don’t just go forgotten like that.
28 days, 6 countries, 18 cities, 10 train rides (2 overnight), 4 flights, 1 overnight coach (which included a ferry ride), more new friends than we can count, and memories that will last a lifetime. The quote we spotted at Heathrow before we departed London would be an apt way to end this series:
We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.