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Weekend Trip Guildford to Wembley

India-Oman-United Kingdom Postgraduate Student at Uni of Surrey

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Last weekend, on a not so rainy Saturday, we decided to visit Wembley, Greater London. I could say it was almost an impulse decision. I was behind on some very essential Indian spices and groceries and in dire need of a water resistent jacket. Wembley seemed to be a solution to both.

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We started off from our accommodation and headed to Guildford Railway Station. There began a 15 minute war with the ticket kiosk and we ended up booking online instead and regretted we didn't do it the day before. The train was leaving in 10 minutes or so and the tracking showed at least 2 changes before reaching our destination; Wembley Central. After 2 stops we got out at Clapham Junction and boarded another train. After standing due to lack of seats for about 30 minutes in different trains we reached our stop.

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Exiting the station was a whole embarassing journey, we observed about ten people to understand what they were swiping for the doors to open. (Sounds dumb? I was indeed). After watching for 2 minutes and finally understanding that it was a debit card and swiping and almost getting stuck in between the doors, we finally made it out. Quite an awkward and embarassing experience I'd say.

Wembley Central was a nice view. The Costa nearby, the shopping complex to the right. We decided to visit Ealing road first. I have been to India twice for longer than 5 days, once to Delhi and once to Kerala. I was hit by the nostalgia associated with the senses of mine. The place even literally smelled like India and I can't begin to fathom why. The Bollywood music in the background in many stores, the laid out pani puris and chaat corners and the silk saree stores and fruit and vegetable markets. In a nutshell, I understood why I read somewhere that it was referred to as Little India.

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We walked the entire length of the road beyond the temple and turned back, this time picking up sweets, groceries and spices we needed from shops we took note of while on our walk earlier. After carrying the heavy bag filled with stuff I bought unnecessarily, we turned back this time walking to London Designer Outlet where we had planned to buy jackets. After spotting TK Maxx on the way we decided to stop by and check out their collection. After 15 minutes of fishing through a buch of jackets I found one and decided to end my hunt.

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A long queue and several minutes of pain due to carrying the heavy bag later, we got out and walked to London Designer Outlet. The interactive wall along the entrance was fun to watch and stop by. We carried on into the mall. Is it because I have seen the absolutely humongous malls in Oman, I felt like it was really small to be honest. May I add, far less options in terms of affordability and choice. Although, it is obviously a new experience in the UK.

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Calling it walking anymore would be a sin, it was almost a hike with those heavy bags on our back. Although we had planned on returning by 8, we were done with our planned tasks by 3. This gave us an hour and a half of lunchtime. We walked back to Ealing Road and decided on having indian. I personally had to get out of my perpetual cycle of bread and jam and ramen. So we decided to go to Vasanta Bhavan, a name I was familiar with in Oman. The hospitality was hella good. We ordered two thalis, a mango lassi and a falooda. A hearty meal and a much needed hour to sit down.

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We took our time finishing the meals and then headed out to catch the train. the best part is the close proximity of every location to the Central Station. After waiting about 15 minutes for our train on Platform 6, we got on our ride back home; with 2 changes again of course.

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© 2022 Rushali Prasad

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