Nicole Fu in London

April: the cruelest month

…said T. S. Elliot. For me, last month wasn’t cruel, but it certainly threw me out of whack.

First, there was all the bouncing. I left Canggu, my home for a month, on April 3rd and spent the night in Uluwatu before heading to Penang for a couple of days, and Bangkok for a couple of days. Then, I caught a cold, and didn’t exercise for a week. I was happy to get back into a routine in Bangkok where I gymmed, meditated, and coworked.

I went to Singapore for 1-2 weeks to celebrate my grandma’s 85th birthday, before heading to London for 2 weeks. I’ve been to London 3 times prior and was never a big fan, but she may be growing on me now.

I think after the first 1-2 trips to a city, or after staying for an extended amount of time and getting the “must dos” out of the way, I’m able to immerse myself more. To quote Derek Sivers, “Don’t think of yourself as visiting. Say that you’ve moved here, and mean it. Commit. Immerse. Go native.”

This was my longest stint in London, and I went native. I worked Mon-Fri from coworking spaces. Exercised. Explored on the weekends. And of course, had high tea once a week.

Some standout memories:

  • Meeting with Founders Pledge, an Effective Altruism aligned company that I’ve admired for a while now
  • Meeting with a fellow growth/marketing consultant with ties to Singapore
  • A night out with Londoners, both native and adopted (can’t remember the last time I went home at 4am)
  • Exploring local gems on my last day, with my sister, in the fortuitous warmth + sunshine

Discoveries

  • Papaya goes really well with lime!
  • Eating medicine on an empty stomach gives you stomach pain. Explains why medicine labels often say “take with food” 😅
  • Sustainable footwear brands Indosole and Rothy’s. Indosole is a great alternative to Havaianas, and Rothy’s is made from recycled water bottles!
  • Shellac – chip proof and you don’t have to wait for it to dry! Tried it for my first time in Bangkok and never felt more like a woman.
  • BackJoy. Forget ergonomic office chairs, these seat things are amazing. Many find it uncomfortable/awkward, but you’ll get used to it. At my last 9-5 job I used to have to stand up come ~3pm. But sitting on this baby gives me zero back pain.
  • Aisle seats of the middle section are the best for long-haul flights

I think I read zero books again in April 🙈 Watched The Theory of Everything in honour of Stephen Hawking’s passing, and a few on the 14-hour flight to London:

  • Mighty Trains, a documentary about The Canadian from Vancouver to Toronto. I learned how hard it was to build through the Rockies and on top of the swamps of Saskatchewan (~1 person died for every 1 mile of track), and about the operations etc that happen in the background (e.g. cooking on a moving train!)
  • Wonder, a movie about a boy with facial differences. In it, he has a teacher who picks a precept to guide each semester. They’re cliché no doubt, but still good to be reminded of:
    • When given the choice of being right or being kind, choose kind

    • Your deeds are your monuments

    • Be kind for everyone is fighting a hard battle. And if you really wanna see what people are, all you have to do is look.

See you on my next blog post about May in Calgary, or on my Now page.

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