Back in T'Smoke Again: Its Moving Day for Me! Hiya Ealing!
Chriselle and I arrived from Dubrovnik at Luton airport (a first time for both of us) just after midnight. Although we hoped to clear Immigration speedily, I had the chattiest officer ever—he was simply thrilled that I was originally from Bombay and loving the city as much as he does, he would not let me leave the counter! When he finally let me through, we took a National Express coach to Victoria that flew through the dark streets and then hopped into a bus that dropped us off at Battersea High Street where my friend Rosemary (Roz) left us a key that allowed us to enter her home at about 3.00 am. She had kept two beautiful guest rooms ready for us and within seconds, we were both out like a light!
The next morning, over Roz’s excellent tea loaf studded with tea-soaked raisins and hot coffee, we had a natter. She was thrilled to meet Chriselle for the first time and wanted to know all about our travels in Eastern Europe. At 9.00 am, we left as she proceeded to work and Chriselle and I took a bus to my office at NYU where my belongings were stashed. It was not long before we hailed a smart London black cab that took us to my new ‘digs’ at Ealing Broadway. By noon, we were meeting Nancy, a gorgeous Sicilian, wife of my friend Greg, who was renting his brother Stuart’s flat to me. She led us in, handed over keys and fled as she had an appointment in Knightsbridge.
Chriselle and I spent the next few hours unpacking our cases and doing two loads of laundry (after we figured out how the washer-dryer worked). As Chriselle napped, I took the opportunity to unpack my suitcases and was simply delighted at the oodles of closet space available to me. We had a very light lunch of croissants and cream cheese with soup that I nipped out to Morrison’s to pick up. I am delighted by the proximity of all the shops to my new flat. I have Morrisons and Sainsburys and M and S all on the same block. It is like having a pantry in my front yard. Plus, right in front of my house is a park—Haven Green. So I do have my little pocket of greenery amidst the urban sprawl. It was a huge pleasure to discover the workings of my glorious new home with Chriselle—to find out together how the appliances worked (although we still have no idea about the drop down TV screen!)
After she felt a bit more rested, we decided to go out for the evening. It was our initial plan to get tickets for the London Eye—as neither one of us had been on it. But when we found that darkness was falling really swiftly over the city, we changed our minds and decided to ride it tomorrow when we have more light. Instead, we decided to follow up on another plan—to go for dinner to Tayyabs, a very well-reputed Punjabi restaurant in the East End—which I had just left! Situated in Whitechapel in the heart of Bangla Town, Tayyabs is known for its North Indian cuisine. Since Chriselle is a pescatarian now, we ordered mainly vegetarian and seafood—paneer tikkas, Fish Amritsari, Karahi King Prawns with vegetable biryani. But since Lamb Korma was the ‘special’ of the day, well, I simply had to try it. Suffice it to say that the food was perhaps the best Indian we have ever eaten. Everything was delectable. While we did order mango lassis, we did not have room for dessert—and we took home hefty doggie bags—enough for dinner the following night.
Back on the Tube to Ealing, we were grateful for an early night as the day had been long and neither one of us had adequate sleep. Tomorrow, we will plan out Chriselle’s last day of vacation in London. It feels grand to be in London again and moving into this spacious one-bedroom with its period details but its Modernist aesthetic has done absolute wonders for my psyche. I know I will be absolutely thrilled to live here for the next few months.
Until tomorrow, cheerio…