I want to be in Libya for the weather, London for the company!

“From dust you came and to dust you will return”

Tonito Jones

This must have been written with Libya in mind! I’m back in T-Town (that’s Tripoli for you unhip lot!) after spending a very nice weekend in London. This is my third re-entry into Libya and I’ve noticed that these becoming easier with time. I’m not even depressed (yet!).

I am also slowly coming to the realization that I miss London more than I care to show.  London on a nice summers day is without any doubt one of the best cities to be in. The cosmopolitan nature of the city, the cultures, the languages, the physical attributes of the city make it one a fantastic place to be. Having said that I don’t think I could move back there, as I think my current tolerance and affection for London has something to do with the short nature of my visits. Small doses as oppose to long treatments. That’s the trick.

My time in London was spent shopping for items I can’t and won’t find in Libya; meeting friends and family and finally attending my friends’ wedding. It is one bad thing about these short weekends abroad is that you cram so much into the time you are there that you leave more tired than you arrived. But in the end it is worth it.

Seeing my former work colleagues and friends and reminiscing about our time in the office together, the banter, the inside jokes and having lunch by the Thames was great and add to that a good dinner and wine. Good food and reasonably priced alcohol, how I have missed thee!

My friend Luisa, reading about the nicknames I had acquired in Libya, decided to get me a gift. Lo and behold! The present was nothing other than my very own Indiana Jones hat and whip! So for the rest of the evening I would be sporting my hat and London being London, no-one thought anything of a guy walking around in shorts, t-shirt and Indiana Jones hat, just another ‘nutter’ on the streets of London.

Spending an afternoon by the Thames on South Bank is always great. It’s by far my favourite part  of London and on a nice summers day it’s probably one of the nicest places to be in London. Yes I do miss the city! There I’ve said it twice now. Happy?!

A photo from the Wedding

I also got to see my godchild again. Every time I see him he looks much bigger than before. He is seven now but I still remember him as a tiny little baby! The funniest thing is he added me on Facebook. Yes. A seven-year old added me on FB. I will have to think about to explain that one to the police…

I also spent one evening in more familiar atmospheres. Edgware Road. For those of you who don’t know London, Edgware road is the Arabic centre of London. Shops signs are written in both English and Arabic. Coffee shops are replaced by shisha cafes and mini-skirts with more modest clothes. This was the setting for a mini Abu Dhabi reunion of sorts with two friends I made there and another who visited us while we were out there (and some other friends who rudely decided to gatecrash our emotional reunion! J). And there we once again we relived our Abu Dhabi days over shisha and I recounted my famous taxi stories to a new audience.

The finale to the weekend was my friend Munim’s wedding. Yet another university friend who got married. That makes three of them now. I feel I’m losing this race! But all jokes aside, the wedding was good fun and once again was nice to be at another completely different wedding, with different customs, clothes etc. This was only the Walima and there was no dancing, but was still really interesting and fun. The day before was his Mehndi but he failed to tell me and this. All he said was “Come to my house for a little get together with my friends”, only to arrive at his place where everyone was dressed up in traditional clothes while Alex and I were in uber casual wear (ripped jeans and all). That aside was nice to hang out with him and his friends before his big day.

That was London.

Thursday however I will be travelling to South Africa for 4 days to see the World Cup Final. I’m so looking forward to it that I might wooot! But I won’t.

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