This morning I woke up with one thought in my mind: “I need to start a blog”. I will not tell my friends about it. Just start writing, I will do it for myself. I shall note some events that happened, some random, possibly interesting ideas etc. Maybe ten years after I will read all this and will have a good laugh, maybe it will end in a week, I don’t know, we’ll see.

So, who am I, where am I? I moved to London in Jan 2016, work in finance. Do amazing and interesting things on my work, have not very good hours and only one holiday (Saturday). After I moved here, found a place to live in, and settled everything down, I noticed that my weekends suck balls. I did not know how to fill the gaps between work. Strange thing, isn’t it? Probably I am a workaholic. And an alcoholic as well.

I know a few people from my high school/home country around here. They are nice guys and girls, but there is one problem with it. I call it “the national circle”. Once you arrive in a new place, you think, “I do not have many contacts here, but I know these fellows (from your home country/school/whatever). They are nice, I’ll go for a drink with them on Friday night and probably stick with them on the weekends.” Sounds legit. Time passes on but nothing changes. You still do not have many contacts, because you hang with the guys from the circle, and you keep going with the same fellows for a drink. The national circle engulfs you. I know guys who moved here a couple of years ago but still do not have friends outside the circle.

I noticed this issue. Once you know that it happens, you can handle it, you can oppose it. If you have motivation. I have. I proclaimed the upcoming year as an “Internationalization year”. I’ll try to find as many non-my-home-country friends as possible. You can say, “Hold on, it should not be a big deal. Just do the things you like and meet new people, have fun and you should be alright.” That’s true, but the problems start once you closed your apartment door. Where should I go now? London is amazing, it’s big, diverse, interesting and there is always something interesting here. The only issue is that you need to find where and when the next interesting thing shall take place. Despite there is enormous number of events (of different quality) happening around, it’s difficult to filter the bad stuff out. But I’ll try.

I should do the tings I like, they said. What are they? Em. I like music, really really like music. But, as the people in the internet say, “My tastes are very singular.” It would be quite difficult to find people with similar musical tastes, so, it’s not a good idea.

What’s next? I love tennis. A year before I moved to London, I had an internship at the same company. And there was a tennis club. The company books a court and employees can go and play for free. My colleague approached me and said, “You know, we both are fast-learners, we can buy racquets, watch some YouTube videos and play for free.”

“Indeed”, I replied. We decided to book a court once, to check if YouTube videos work well. I’d rather not say that it went good. There was not any rally. “We’d better to practice for some more time before going to that tennis club,” I thought. At the fifth session there was a rally. Of three hits. Not bad. It was not a huge success, but the process was very nice and full of pure happiness. Once we started to play twice a week, I lived from tennis to tennis. Now, when I moved here, I should continue. I need a coach.

Next, the only foreign language I know is English. However, I know that I can do better. So, learning a new language may be a good idea. Which one should I choose to learn next? All the girls around shouted, “FRENCH! GO FRENCH!”. That’s not a bad idea. There are a lot of French people in London, especially in finance. France is amazing. French girls are charming. All the guys replied, “French is of no use, go for Spanish. It’s much more widespread, Spain is amazing as well. Latin America speaks almost Spanish.” That was the voice of reason. Girls shouted back, “ONCE YOU KNOW FRENCH, YOU ALMOST KNOW SPANISH!” Here I though that, probably it works in the other direction as well.

It should be enough for the beginning. I found a group French courses and enrolled. After it I can play tennis and walk around. Life is becoming better. I should keep this pace.

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