Breaking up

Leaving London was not an easy decision.

It was always on my mind because the plan was to stay here for a year before going back to the US. When one year timeline was approaching in July, I thought I would join any team in the US. But it didn’t feel right. I wanted to work on thing I feel excited about. In addition, the summer in London made me forgot the dreadful winter. There was a voice in my mind asking how my life would be if I stay here. But the other me always thought there is no doubt that I’ll go back, it’s just a matter of time. But I didn’t tell anyone about these thoughts.

Maybe this secret voice in my mind was heard by the god, and he was helping me to make a decision. When I called my boyfriend one weekend, he wanted to break up with me to end this long-distance relationship that has been going on for over a year. I was shocked. I never imaged this would happen.

I guess now I can do whatever I want. I can stay in London for longer or forever, or still go back to the Bay Area if that’s what I want. I was even more puzzled because I never imaged I would be in this situation. In my imagination, I would go back to America and reunite with my boyfriend. I even thought about how happy we would be when I finally go back. I imagined that he would pick up in the airport and we would hug and kiss with happy tears.

Well, there’s no more happy tears and only sad tears now.

Italy in a week

 
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At the end of 2018, we went on a family trip in Italy. In a week and a half, we went to Rome, Naples, Sorrento, Florence and Milan. To my surprise, it was much more relaxing than I expected.

I’ve been to Rome before, and had the impression that Italian dining culture was very different from what I’m used to. Sometimes I walk into a restaurant and no one would come to show me where to sit. Before this trip though, I asked my Italian friend. It turns out that you can just walk to an empty table in that case. China has the same culture and I remembered how strange it was to wait for a table when I first arrived in America.

It’s kind of like a reversed culture shock that I’m more used to the US/UK culture…

N4 Finsbury Park

 
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After the a few weeks of temporary housing, I moved to an area called Finsbury Park. It’s located north of central London, about 15 minutes tube ride from King’s Cross Station. I chose there because it’s easy to get to by tube or train, and the rent is cheaper than other popular areas in London. I found a nice and small flat on the high street in the area. My flatmate, Nick, is a lawyer in the city, who kept the flat extremely clean and neat. The style is modern and simple, and could be a show room for John Lewis, a British department store known for its quality goods.

 
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I consider myself a very neat and organised person, but my flatmate Nick is in another level in terms of cleanness. The surfaces are always empty and clean. Even the cabinets are organised. I love the neatness of the house, but later I realised it’s not the best setup for my creativity. I was always hesitant to use the shared dining table to draw or paint, because I don’t want him to see that I’m making a mess in the shared space.