Notting Kansas Anymore…
Nothing is the same. Case in point, yesterday I spent two minutes trying to pry open a bottle of olive oil. It doesn’t flip, it doesn’t twist and in the end the only way to make a dressing was to dig my fingernails into the lid and destroy my mani. This olive oil incident is a metaphor for life when you move to the other side of the world. You find yourself learning everything the hard way and the agony of every tedious new process is magnified by jet lag and an ever lingering feeling of home sickness.
After 20 minutes of trying to figure out how to use the fancy London stove in my temporary co-living apartment I tossed the chicken back in the fridge and headed out to the only suburb I was familiar with, Notting Hill.
I have been in love with the idea of Farmacy, a stylish new restaurant offering local organic produce since I stumbled across it on a Pinterest board back in Aus. Framacy’s ethos is simple and delicious: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food,” and considering I’d just spent an entire day on a germ infested plane travelling far, far away it’s safe to say I was in desperate need of some natural healing.
Inside the new Notting Hill hotspot the restaurant is light and airy. Chic copper power outlets line the backs of the plush seating booths for bloggers and business babes in need of a recharge. Unfortunately my laptop wasn’t the only thing lacking energy. Despite my best efforts to stay hydrated on the plane I couldn’t help but feel emotionally depleted. This is not a holiday, a bitchy little voice in the back of my brain kept reminding me over and over again.
Gazing over the Farmacy menu the sound of the Green Eggs Bowl reminded me of a breakfast plate I used to order in North Bondi after a long morning walk. When it arrived at my table the dish was vibrant, fresh and bursting with energy. While it looked very similar to the breakfast bowl I’d had before in Sydney I was delighted to discover that it tasted even more delicious.
The last thing you need when you first move to a new city and you’re already feeling weak is to catch a nasty cold. To keep the flu at bay I ordered a Farmaceutical Syringe Shot called ‘Melt Away’. Tip: The more ingredients you cannot pronounce the better it is for your immune system!!
I asked a pretty Polish girl for the bill and experienced another wave of sadness as I struggled to distinguish the paper notes in my purse from one another.
I eventually left the cosy confines of the restaurant and stepped out out onto the busy London footpath. Instead of going back to the apartment I took a left from the high street and found myself wandering past a magnificent array of white terrace houses.
Red flowers popped against the white facade and a glossy black door with brass handles reminded me of my beloved Bourke Street. In that moment I longed for the familiar, the warm Australian air, my local wine bar or a sausage roll from Bourke Street Bakery. I wondered if I had experienced this overwhelming sense of sadness and loneliness when I first moved to Sydney all those years ago.
I stood motionless in front of the house for a while longer when the first positive thought in hours popped into my head. These buildings must be hundreds of years old, in fact everything I love about Bourke Street and Sydney originated right here in London.
It was up to me and only me to make the ultimate decision. I could continue on being miserable and melancholy, or I could jump on the next big red bus and see everything this incredible city has to offer me. Which with some minor fumbling around for my map and new Oyster (London transport) card is exactly what I did.
I hopped off at the strikingly beautiful Piccadilly Circus and made my way up the street to Selfridges to meet an old friend for a drink at the rooftop bar. I have to be honest with you here, behind the champagne, sunglasses and cheesy grin is a girl missing a lot of things. It is the first hurdle you will experience when moving to a new city, the pain of letting go of everything you know and starting over sometimes with nothing.
But if there is one thing I have learnt from moving from one city to the next is that time does amazing things. One day at a time you will begin to build a new life and discover new glossy black doors of opportunity.
Well it’s time for me to rattle those brass handles looking for an apartment, a job and a new familiar routine.
To all the girls who were brave enough to move to a new city, I salute you!