Monday, 16 November 2015

New places, old faces

Since I've moved to Norway, Novembers have been a quiet month. The weather is generally pretty depressing (if one were to be blunt) and there seems to be a lot to finish up with work before the year runs out. While it's no different on both counts this time around, partly through spontaneous-ish planning and partly through circumstance, this November has turned out rather differently :). In this case, different is better. Vastly!

First there was the weekend trip to London. A.k.a. my first proper visit to England :). And I have to say, it was at once jam packed, yet leisurely. The best sort of combination of predetermined things to do and see, and people to meet, with almost totally on-the-fly planning on how to achieve that.

We ended up watching a rowing race on the Thames near Hammersmith, walking around Notting Hill at night, getting nearly blown away by rain and wind along the river in Fulham, watching the fantastic Guy Fawkes fireworks from Greenwich, shuttling back and forth across the city on the tube, ambling through Hyde Park, meeting up with a couple of old friends I hadn't seen in years and years :).

That wasn't anywhere close to an exhaustive list. And we even missed a few things we'd thought we might want to do. Mainly catch the Memorial Day parade. Still, there was enough to give me a sense of the place. It is easy to feel familiar in London in some ways, what with there being bits that you might have seen in different cities the world over. In many cases, the original was probably in London! :)

As with any city there are vast contrasts, Victoria and Canary Wharf for instance :). But in all of that, there seemed something common running through. One rushed weekend isn't the best way to judge a place, but this is for sure, I'd love to go back! For one thing, there are more people to meet and catch up with!

Then there was the other, rather more whirlwind trip. All the way to Hyderabad, for 3 days and 2 nights. But what can you do, when friends decide to get married at short notice? :) (It of course helped that there were miraculously cheap and convenient flights for pretty much the exact dates I needed!) Added bonus, an opportunity to meet up with friends I hadn't seen for anywhere between almost three to over ten years!

Hyderabad isn't a place I'd ever visited before, but besides the wedding, the only other thing we did was find examples of awesome biryani :). Even a view of the Charminar was had only incidentally! But then again, what can beat hours spent catching up with old friends? :)

Meeting people after many years can be interesting. Especially people you knew well before time and distance stretched the gaps in the knowing. Sometimes though, it can seem almost like old times. It isn't, of course, too much has changed, too much life. But enough to be able to find some of the old familiar pathways of conversation.

Promises of keeping in touch are less about planning in advance and more about making use of opportunities that come by I guess.

And in the four days that I was away, the weather here seems to have changed completely! As the flight came in to land in Gardermoen this morning, everything was covered in white! The first snow of the season. :) Of course, this will all melt away as the temperature yo-yo's around zero for a bit. But who knows, maybe there will be some proper snow this winter!

Currently: letting the past few days settle in
Listening to: Zara Larsson - Lush life