Every time someone leaves London

Every time someone leaves London, they start wondering what made them move over in the first place and what changed in the meantime.

Every time someone leaves London, they know they’re never going to be the same but they’ll never know why. And when you ask them, they sadly smile back and look away – before mumbling something in return.

Every time someone leaves London, they imagine there’s always a way back, but, whether there is, they’re just lying to themselves.

Every time someone leaves London, they ask themselves why the London City Hall area – just a little walk away from Tower Bridge – helped them brood over all the things they had left behind; and how that spot on the riverside down in Camden could breed all they were carrying forward.

Every time someone leaves London, they start regretting any choice they’ve ever made. For they now understand that the companies will never be the same – those bus journeys as melancholic, those nights as fuzzy. That they will no longer be…them.

Every time someone leaves London, they remember how special they were treated when they went back to their hometown, and how now they will solely be another random somebody.

Every time someone leaves London, they can no longer say where home is. And that makes them wonder…

They know what they’re leaving. As they know what they’re finding.

Every time someone leaves London, they just realise they had fallen in love for real.

And as love, leaving often hurts.

 

 

 

Jim
The Britalian Post

 



I’m staying

Spent last night at Leadenhall Market among a bunch of drunk-ass smart-dressed City chaps celebrating a birthday.

For the first half or so, I was shyly hiding behind a friend for feeling too out of context and totally unable to fit in, and for a moment, I started thinking: should I stay or should I go?

The environment of the City, which sometimes you feel like being a boastful space full of cocky and materialistic blowhards, appears to be a tight-knit circle where prejudice and discrimination connotate the general opinion towards strangers, or immigrants. A person like me – with that accent and not dressed up alike – surely catches their attention, and thus their ire.

Turns out I was a victim of my own prejudice.

It simply was a great night – I was dragged in hilarious jokes, interesting chats and drunken group singing. I was treated equally and why would it be otherwise?

For how different our worlds can be, most times our own prejudice clouds our own judgement.

So, honestly, doesn’t matter what Theresa May says or does, what people voted for or didn’t.

I’m staying.

Jim
The Britalian Post

The recruiter’s love story

Every love story has its ups and downs but this one made me really taste the bitter end.

She was beautiful – curly bright hair, light green eyes, a nice body, a clever chick. And I still can’t believe she actually promised she would always be there for me.

I mean she knew I was struggling, she knew I needed a job, she knew how my career was important for me, and she said she could understand.

She would call me every day – asking how I was holding up, what I had done the previous night, and how I was doing with the interview steps. She would text me, email me, meet me every time I did and didn’t need her. And I did believe it was all real.

She assured me I would get the job, that she would do whatever in her power to help me out and guide me through.

Then she disappeared – no more texts, no more calls, no more meeting up. Was she interested in somebody else?

I tried. I did my best to be patient and wait, to follow up nicely. It was a waste of hope.

I failed at getting the job. And she failed me.

The last time we met – just to quickly catch up and finalise some details – I gave her a last heartbroken goodbye. She didn’t even flinch; she didn’t move a finger until I stood up with anger and made my way to the door.

“Wait, please!”, she yelled and took my hand.

“What now, Samantha?”, I said visibly bothered.

“Can I retain your details for future opportunities?”

Jim
The Britalian Post

A London bbq

Oh, Britons are so weird!

Their classy and composed speaking, their messy and uneducated eating, their stone cold behaviour and aggressively drunk manners along with their unstable position in relationships – distant, indifferent, uninterested. Sometimes you wonder about what they feel like, if they feel something; how they handle their daily life, their BBC, their afternoon tea, and that thing they call ‘latte(y)’.

LATTE(y)???
Yeah, apparently they’ve discovered some evolution of cappuccino for us still unknown.

Speaking of which, our friends threw a bbq a couple of days ago to celebrate a mate’s bday.
With the rare fantastic weather being the perfect background – steaks, burgers, sausages and much more flipping on the grill, diffusing a drooling flavour that accompanied the entertaining tunes played through the Bluetooth speaker – 30ish people were swallowing cans of beer like they were nuts.
And sure thing, they were really nuts!

Among the number of countries that showed up on that day, I can recall Spain, Brazil, Austria, Germany, Peru, Slovakia, Italy and, well well well, England. Yes, one of the sophisticated Britons had honoured us with his presence. And whether it was for the alcohol making them sociable or the folks there just being naturally friendly, all went along with each other – judging by the loud Spanish-blasted laughter and the Italians-led group dancing.

You know London itself is practically a huge bbq – a place where different types of meats are cooked on the same irons creating a unique taste.

With a closer look though, I realised that we strangers were the ones who were grouping up per country/language, setting the others aside. The English dude instead was the only one who was ping-ponging from group to group to socialise with everybody.

Wait a minute.
We often talk about Brexit, about being left apart from a number of Britons who are segregating us for being immigrants. Whereas, sometimes I feel like it’s us who are exiting them – taking ownership of a space that doesn’t belong to us and we should appreciate more, and not being excluding individuals who are giving us the opportunity to remain.

So while I was totally zoned out having this random thought, I turned towards him and he was sitting there choking himself with a stripe of steak he hadn’t cut.

“Oh, dude, I can’t take you anywhere.”

Jim
The Britalian Post

Comprehension is hard

Comprehension is hard.

Even if you’re good at languages and speak one regularly, you will never own it as much as a native does, and will always experience some issues when trying to express yourself or understand what others are saying.

Simply said: you suck!

I remember the time I started watching the first episode of Game of Thrones and how weird it felt when I realised I couldn’t catch a damn thing. So I sat in front of the tv to pay more attention and began to wonder if they were using some of those made-up languages like in The Lord of the Rings.

After a few lines, I started grasping a couple of random words here and there and…of course it‘s English, you ignorant dickhead! Given so, I put subtitles on and dialogues became much clearer. More or less.

That made me think about how freaking awesome would it be if all people spoke with subtitles. Can you picture it? Like, when somebody’s talking, you actually see these words in white that flow right above the chest. Can you imagine how everything would just be easier? Communicating would be so simple, misunderstandings and awkward moments would no longer happen. Above all, you’d always know what to say back; even better, you’d always have something to say.

However, when you have subtitles, you tend to focus more on the reading rather than on the listening, more on the words than on what one’s seeking to express.

She wouldn’t get you wanted more than just screw her – you know…guys with their perverse mind, right?! Yet, when you told her you loved her, just right there by the river, when the night was over and you were drying her teardrops with your fingertips, she wouldn’t know what to say back.

“I…I don’t understand…”
“Punch me or run away!”

So she left.
But she didn’t turn her back, she slowly walked backwards holding your look until she disappeared behind that alley.

Sometimes, even if you say something clearly, if declaring a so ordinary and pure something should be really easy, you just end up like us when dealing with native English people. You got it: with that dumb fuck expression on! Because everybody will always focus on the meaning of the words rather than on what you’re desperately seeking to express.

That’s why we shouldn’t need subtitles. That’s why comprehension is hard.

That’s why you suck!

Jim
The Britalian Post

I wish I had a pound

One early morning at King’s Cross, on a cold and sunny day, I was pacing outside the station in a never-ending wait. A cup of hot coffee in one hand and a smoke in the other – Ed was goddamn late and I was freezing my ass out there.

There were not many people around except for me, few commuters, some guys who were setting up stands to serve food, and obviously a few bums begging for spare change. I didn’t really count how many of them were roaming about but I’m sure I must have engaged with them all. 

They started approaching me one after the other and it took me a good few mins each to understand any of the words they were trying to speak – a drunk bum’s English mumbling is not the easiest to get.

I’m sorry, I wish I had a pound.

I always feel sorry for these people – abandoned to their fates and constrained to a stunted life. They, who bravely live and survive winters in a daily search for food and, potentially, some sweet booze to warm them up and maybe help them forget some sad past story.

I remember I used to know one in my area: he was Italian, in his late 30s. He had moved to London in the mid-90s and had found his fortune working in the IT field. Unfortunately, he was too young to keep control over the unlimited resources London had given him and squandered his fortunes to his very last pound. According to his story, the government had also turned their backs on him, and his family, well, probably he didn’t even have one.

So every time I see one of them, I always recall that guy – I search my pockets for a pound and feel so guilty if I can’t find any.

I’m sorry, I wish I had a … 

Hang on a moment.

When I first came over, I didn’t even have the shadow of a pound. I lacked the language proficiency, the skills, the being comfortable in a new and different country, in a so big and alienating city. I, and so many other people just like me, had to find my way in: I started out washing dishes in a Moroccan restaurant at 2 quid an hour. No help, no support, nobody to speak with. I really didn’t have a pound.

Yet I made it. I worked my ass hard to a wealthy(ish) life. It cost a lot of effort and sacrifice, pain and sadness, desperation and, often, fear.

Other than me, these people were born here, they speak the language, they live in their own country. They were born with a least a pound, if not their own, one or two from the passers-by.

So I am sorry: every time I search my pockets, I myself wish I had had a pound.

Jim
The Britalian Post

It’s not gonna be a bad day

Monday sucks big fat donkey balls, dude!

Come on, don’t be so dramatic! It’s not gonna be a bad day.

That pinch of negativity at the beginning of the week is a common feeling for everybody.
But, easy, not every Monday is a bad day. 

Last Monday, I’m sure I didn’t wake up on the wrong side of the bed; in fact, I didn’t wake up at all. So not only was I late at work but neither was able to do any workout which fucked up my weekly schedule.

But, easy, it’s not gonna be a bad day. 

If only it hadn’t taken me a half goddamn hour to catch the first bus and another half to get on the first train. I did say I was already fucking late, right?
At the building where I work, you need to swipe your personal pass to access the gates. An easy action, if only I hadn’t tried to swipe my Oyster card instead (the card for transports, for whoever doesn’t know) when I suddenly realised I had forgotten my pass at home.

But, easy, it’s not gonna be a bad day.

As soon as I started my laptop, it froze for 15 mins and when it came back to life, the internet didn’t work. Not a big deal, so I had time to go for a cup of tea. And while I was pouring hot water from the machine, the mug slipped from my hands and I spilt a terrible amount of deadly hot water directly on my thin trousers. Needless to say, I started dancing Disco Inferno to overcome the pain. 

But, easy, it’s not gonna be a bad day.

At lunchtime, we were off to a nearby restaurant with the whole team for celebrations. I ordered a simple chicken salad to stay light and when the waiter came with the dish – oh I was really starving – he accidentally hit my chair’s legs and knocked over the whole salad on me. Getting another one took another half and the team had already finished.

But, easy, it’s not gonna be a bad day.

I was off at 6pm, tremendously tired, and headed to the station willing to get back home as soon as possible. The train came rapidly this time, if only it hadn’t taken 40 mins to make 3 stops due to a signal failure. No panic, I eventually reached my stop and waited for the connecting bus. It came in a min sharp but, for some strange reason, it decided not to stop, even though I was flailing like a maniac. Now, you know that thing that sometimes happens in movies and cartoons? I can assure you it hadn’t even rained – the bus wheel plunged at the speed of light in a black puddle and I took a wonderfully disgusting shower.

But, easy, it’s not gonna be a bad day. And I’m almost home.

To recover from this intense day, I decided I would treat myself to a giant pizza and some TV series. Oh, the relief when I finally sat on the couch.
So since a few days before, while on the way back home, I saw this big Domino pizza shop and, as many people have always praised it for making a really good pizza, I started wondering what it would taste like. Thus, instead of ordering delivery from the Neapolitan pizzeria I usually get pizza from, I thought I would give Domino a chance. I mean, shame on me for getting such a pizza (I’m Neapolitan for fuck’s sake), but I pride myself on being quite open-minded.
The delivery was quick. The rider said I owed him £4 more, which I was sure I had paid already online, but I was really starving to death so I just gave him the money. When I got back inside, I checked and guess what? I had already paid the full amount. Fuck!
Ok, never mind, let’s just chill out and dig into this pizza.
So I opened the box and…and…”what the fuck is that? Why is there fucking pineapple on my pizza???” A ‘simple’ mistake in the order.

But, easy, it’s not gonna be a bad… 

&$!#%5¡¶@
MONDAY SUCKS BIG FAT DONKEY BAAAAAAALLS!

Jim
The Britalian Post

Sunday Bloody Sunday

Last night I couldn’t sleep.

You know, like when you’re lying in bed, eyes wide open, staring at the white ceiling concentrating on the shadows? That’s it. And you start rolling over to the left side, to the right side, upside down, and then you find yourself wrapped in the bed sheets – trapped clumsily. A swift move that ends up with your fat ass miserably falling with a muffled thump. 

…dumbass!

Now you’re sitting on the floor, your back leaned against the bed frame, knees up and head down: “Shit! …I need a cigarette… But it’s late and I shouldn’t be smoking another…where’s the damn lighter?”

Like all Sundays, all weekends, I fuck up my biological clock and lose control over my body functions, and I had even seen it coming.

After 10 episodes of Grimm on Netflix and more than half a bottle of a red 8 pound Casillero Del Diablo, I was hoping my sight would grow dimmer and I’d feel that dizziness that gets your brain working slower and whispers good night. I was hoping. Unfortunately, that nap in the afternoon wasn’t a real great idea and I still can’t figure out how I even stayed laying down on that uncomfortable hard and broken-sprung sofa. 

The only solution I could think of was to keep drinking. However, the only other alcohol I had left in the house was a bottle of Jack Daniels. Boy, I had to try. 

Nine shots later, I realised I still had a super active mind but a fucked up stomach. After swallowing a Gaviscon tablet to ease the pain – sort of a cure to the cure – nothing changed: the night went on as before.

On the day after I was obviously tired. Not just tired, knackered. Destroyed. Zombie mode on, a whole pot of coffee, rush to work. At the office, I must have been looking at the emptiness of my laptop screen for a long while before I realised it was off and not in sleep mode. All day long, my head swaying back and forth, drifting off, jerking awake, striving hard to not to fall asleep on the job. With my mind in total confusion, I promised myself I would be in bed by 10pm at the latest. Just a little dinner, 2 episodes on Netflix, then straight to bed. Sounds good.

So I am in bed now. Comfortably covered, 2 pillows behind my head, checking videos on Facebook to get my eyes tired. “Yeah,” (yawning) “I’m knackered.” I leave the phone, turn off the bedside lamps, close my eyes and…

“Shit! I can’t sleep.”

Jim
The Britalian Post

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