I have been contemplating for few days now about writing a piece on the experience so far. But I just could not concentrate for various reasons including facebook and since I do not have an internet connection for at least one day, so the only pastime I have is writing.
It has been almost ten days since I first landed at Heathrow. The journey from my home town, Lahore (Pakistan) was not a bad one or probably my excitement got better of it. London has always been my favourite place in the world for years and a place that I have never visited before – blind love. It is because of that love and the fact that my sister is living here the city was never a stranger for me and as soon as I landed I felt at home – my new home for at least year and a half.
I have not been around to many places but the ones that I have visited were enough to give me an idea of what to look forward for. The first thing I noticed was discipline at the Heathrow International Airport where it took me three hours to get an entry stamp from the immigration. There were at least six hundred or so people in the queue and yet no one tried to break line even though there were quite a few chances. Everyone just quietly strolled through chatting around, reading books, texting etc. No one raised a voice and it impressed me much.
The very next day when I went to drop my nephews and niece to school I noticed that there were no policemen or traffic wardens. But the thing that amazed me the most was how people showed respect to the right of way of each other and to say thanks people either use their hands (which might seem like a polite way of saying ‘Durr Fittay Mu’) or the hazards. This is also a reality that even though the traffic wardens are not there on the streets yet all the activity is being watched through the CCTV cameras. And a startling fact is that there the CCTV cameras are at least twice as much as the population of United Kingdom, which simply means that every movement is being watched and taped.
And if you happened to cross the line no policeman would come instead it will be captured and the picture will be mailed to you with a fine. This could as minute as driving on the wrong line for split second or driving/stopping on the bus lane. On most of the roads there are designated bus lanes and bus stops on which no one is allowed to stop except for the buses, taxis and cycles. It is worth mentioning that the bus service is excellent and the details of the routes have been explicitly mentioned at every bus stop. And if I can travel through the bus service safely without going lost this means something as I am really bad when it comes to commuting as I can easily lose the way.
On my way to University Halls I saw another interesting thing, on one of the roundabouts there were some people were crushing plants and bushes. I was really fascinated to see this and was informed that those doing the activity are not ordinary persons; they are the Tree Surgeons, specialist in their field, responsible for all the activities relating to all kind of plantations from their growth to the shredding. And I realized that it is not only the surgeons in hospitals who do this kind of activity instead they have competition in the form of Tree surgeons.
Tonight has to be the noisiest night that I have seen so far during my short stay in London. Otherwise during the weekdays there is pin drop silence after 9pm in the streets. During those times I have even heard the sound of a leaf falling down on the roadside. The reason of so much noise and excitement is because it is Fresher’s Week and a lot of parties are happening all around. While people are partying I am writing this piece and listening to Chamak Challo and Dhunki as I am a bit too rotten for Freshers.