London Calling
in London, United Kingdom on 15th September, 2012

Triin and I moved back to the UK at the end of August. We were originally going to live in Wapping but there were some problems with our flat there. We ended up living a few streets away from St. Katharine Dock with another British/Estonian couple.

I started a Python contract with an old customer before we returned to the UK so the first day back I did an interview in the morning for another, longer contract and then in the afternoon went to work for my existing customer. I ended up getting the other role which is a six-month, Python & Hadoop contract for a publishing company. The office is three streets away from our home so I can walk to work in five minutes.

Triin has been enjoying her days traveling around London on the underground and double decker buses, exploring and drinking lots of Starbucks drinks. We usually have lunch together and occasionally she picks me up from work with groceries she's bought in the afternoon.

One of the things that struck me early on regarding what's changed during the seven months I was away was the amount of construction going on in East London. It seems they are building ~12 large tower blocks and a lot of the old and ugly council estates are getting torn down. The rents in East London are really high and show no signs of going down any time soon. During a boat trip down the Thames the tour guide pointed out that there is a whole section of the South Bank now owned by the Kuwaiti Royal Family. It feels like London is now going through the kind of construction boom that China and Dubai have been going through.

We went to a friend's house party the first Saturday back. I was surprised to hear that two of her flatmates who I enjoyed photographing a lot over the past two years have both left London. Sometimes I'm under the impression that the state I meet people in is the state they'll be in for a very long time. London seems to breed ambitious people who treat this city as a jumping-off point rather than a long-term home.

It was good to finally get back into the pubs here in London. I can't really remember finding any pubs during my trip that had the same feel. There is nothing like a drunken rant with some friends you've known for years.

Personally my feelings about London have changed. I used to feel that this is the last place on earth I'd live so it was important to make it here as there was no alternative. I feel now that it's just a stop along the way in life. I can come and go as I please. I'm also really glad Triin decided to join me here. I was really unhappy here in 2011 and I know it was down to her missing in my life.

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