Homeless

[…Suffolk, U.K…]

It’s been a harrowing past couple of weeks moving from place to place and practically living out of a suitcase. The transition from Germany to the UK is quite an adventure and is actually fun, but at the end of the day, it’s still all about permanence and finding a roof over your head and getting settled. Hotels are good substitutes in the meantime especially if all you really yearn for after a long day is to lay your head on a pillow. But even with that said, nothing still beats having a place you can call home.

There’s the long drive from Germany to the port of Dunkerque in France, the ferry ride across the English Channel to the port of Dover in the southern part of the UK, and then tomorrow, after a week of house-hunting here, it’s back again to Germany to settle some unfinished business. Sad to say, there isn’t a place to call home yet, but at least being already familiar with the area is a big advantage and gives us a headway over others who may also be in a hunt for a new home.

The weather has been unbelievably good here in what they call East Anglia  –- awesome cloudscapes almost every day while I was here, white cotton-candy wisps drifting by vast blue suburban skies. I’m certain this is not the norm here as I’ve heard all about the gloomy gray England weather, and I am not to be fooled. But these moving clouds I’ve witnessed the past few days have bewildered me, maybe because I have not seen much of them in Germany. I have imagined taking daytime long exposures and imagined fantastic results with the moving clouds, but unfortunately, I just did not have time or the energy to take out the camera. Even a visit to nearby Cambridge last Saturday produced no photographs from me; I was just too tired from all the driving around town, meeting appointments, and viewing houses. And in between all that is the search for a WiFi-equipped facility to sit down, grab a meal while checking emails. It’s been life in motion, in a nutshell.

Speaking of Cambridge — it is a university town, with a nice walkable town centre filled with shopping and restaurants that are wrapped around the many old churches and colleges that are mostly affiliated with the prestigious University of Cambridge. On Saturday, the area was filled with people walking down the paved narrow winding roads leading up to numerous shops. Market stalls had been set up around the churches, selling anything from British-themed mementos to sepia-colored photographs. University students and administrators wore long black cloaks a la Hogwarts style, walking around town like they just stepped out of a scene from the movie. Apparently, they had just come from a big ceremony that took place outside one of the college campuses. It was an entertaining sight, to say the least.

We didn’t venture further than a few shops, a trip to Orange and Vodafone for a look at the new iPhone, and an early dinner at Wagamama. The more picturesque sights will be for another time, but Cambridge was certainly a good diversion for a little bit. I have good first impressions of that city and I’m happy to know that I will be living in the vicinity and can take advantage of the beautiful historic location.

All in all, the past few weeks (and the upcoming ones as well) have been and will presumably be what one would expect from a life in transition: a lot of uncertainty, anticipation, excitement, hoping and wishing — all mixed with some fun and adventure.  Photography is on hold for just a tiny bit, but not the least forgotten. My camera still keeps me company every single time; it’s simply a matter of finding its way into my hands in the middle of all the craziness.

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4 responses

  1. Good to hear from you again! You’ll be settled before you know it. This week I read an article in Travel & Leisure magazine about how someone who had worked in London in the 90’s returned to find it a completely different place. I concurred with that, and commented to my husband that all the photos I see on Flickr of England these days seem to show blue skies and white clouds. When I lived there for six months, I only remember seeing blue skies on a couple of occasions. I wonder if it has something to do with global warming?

    • Hi Susan, whether or not it has anything to do with global warming, I really don’t care as long as it stays blue 🙂 But you’re right, I have been seeing a lot of London images with unbelievably great skies, and I hope it stays that way while I’m there.

  2. Hi Yen! We were in a similar situation. I left for Calgary in advance of my wife due to my job. I rented an apartment for three months thinking it was going to take a while to find a house we liked. You can imagine the amount of photos, emails and phone calls that went back and forth until we settled on a property on the edge of the city where it’s a quick 30 minute drive to the mountains. It took us just a little over a month to find the place. We do quite a bit of hiking now, as it is a favourite past time in the area. Mother nature just beckons you to hike in the mountains. We are hiking to Cirque Peak in Banff National Park this weekend. Should have some photos up by Sunday.

  3. I hope it doesn’t take me that long to find a house, Rex, but oftentimes patience does pay off in the end.
    Best wishes on your hiking trip and I hope it leads you to many breathtaking vistas. I can’t wait to see the photos you come up with!

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