Living & Learning in London

fabiolafood2The UK isn’t necessarily known for its food. I always heard the food was bland, and I was warned about missing the food from home. This caused great concern for me, especially considering what a picky eater I am.

To my surprise and relief, I have to say I don’t see a big difference in food. Yes, the food isn’t well salted, and yes, there aren’t many flavorings and spices, but the food isn’t that bad. I have yet to eat something that has been horrible. Of course, I’ve been eating “safe” food, but I’ve become more adventurous in the gastronomy department.

I thought, “I’m already our of my comfort zone, why not try everything new–even the food?”

And so I’ve tried Pakistani food. Okay, I admit I cheated. The Pakistani restaurant isn’t somewhere I would have wanted to go to in the first place. I was hesitant and terrified to be completely honest.

I had butterflies in my stomach as the students from my study abroad program and I made our way to the restaurant. That was only at first because as soon as I walked through those doors my heart stopped. The last thing I wanted to do was to offend the waiters, cooks, and owner. But at the same time, I really didn’t want to eat anything.

My hands were sweaty as I sat with my friends and waited for the food to arrive. My study abroad director had already pre-ordered our meal, so the idea of eating with a virtual blindfold wasn’t helping my situation at all.

As soon as the food arrived I finally decided to dive in. A few of my reasons to study in London were because I wanted to reach out of my comfort zone, try new things, and become a citizen of the world. How else could I achieve this, then by immersing myself?

So there I was, staring at the appetizer sitting before me. The whole time I’ve been here I’ve been quite adventurous and so I thought, “Why stop with food? What the heck!” And I took my first bite.

I fell in love. There was an explosion in my mouth. The dance between flavors and textures was the perfect combination. I still can’t name what I ate or say what was in it, but all I know is that I’m glad I took the chance.

I’ve had so many trials since I’ve come to London that prove to me that amazing things could come out of taking chances. By simply being here is the outcome of me taking the risk to apply for the program and the scholarship.

The Pakistani meal is a bit of a stretch in classifying it as an accomplishment compared to my being here. But I felt such pride in knowing that I’d done something different and that I’ve been trying to achieve my goals. It’s just so amazing and exciting to think that it is only the beginning.

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