gypsy wanderings: stories about England I


I have been to England three times, I have been fortunate to have friends or family who have lived there at some point. One semester I worked so much, I was able to buy a ticket and stay there for two weeks. I have fallen in love with London, I think I'd happily live there if I had the opportunity but it's really true what they say: it's the people who make the place. There's a family that my parents have known since I was a child that used to live there. We met them in Mozambique, the year we lived there, and my parents have kept contact ever since. When I decided to brave the trip on my own, they opened their home to me. I was currently staying with my cousin in Brighton and a week before I had planned to go back home, I stayed with them in London.

They have three sons, two of them are about my age, and the third one I met for the first time when I stayed with them. At the time, he was seven years old, and really guys, he was a joy. I don't know why, but when I'm in situations where people have known me since childhood, I become shy. It's weird and I can't even begin to tell you why. I think that it's probably because parents do that thing where they tell everyone about their children's life, so many times I don't know what to share because they probably know it already. Yeah, I'm weird, this comes as no surprise. Anyways, this boy noticed me and since I tried to talk to him, he took to making sure he knew everything I was doing. Kids have a way of knowing how to make a person feel special. I really felt a bit invisible during my time there, mainly because I went exploring on my own and because most of the family had to work. I enjoy the sensation but sometimes it's nice to know someone sees you and takes an interest. The family is wonderful, but the highlight of my trip was the kid. He would ask me where I was going, what I was doing, and he would proudly announce that he was a fan of the football team Corinthians.

The winter I visited London was the coldest winter they had experienced in 30 years. This was in 2010, so there was so much snow that it complicated the train system. I have this funny knack of going there when the weather is strange. I haven't experienced the stereotypical weather, which I suppose is rainy London. 

After a day of exploring, I'd always look forward to getting back "home" and see that the kid was back from school. I'd watch his antics and he would always invite me to play with him. Whenever I'd start doing something, he'd ask me what I was doing and why... And then ask me why again, and I'm sure you know the game. 

When the family told him I had to go home, he didn't want me to, and it was hard to leave. He has down-syndrome so it was harder for him to understand. A year later my dad went to visit them and I was able to see him via skype and....he still remembered me, which touched my heart deeply. I still wonder how he's doing, as you know, after a few years I lost touch with their family.

 I am sure he's probably cheering up other people's lives who are just as timid and introverted as me.


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