Moving to London as a broke girl 02

王紫荆 Wang Zi Jing
3 min readFeb 9, 2021


To the three-years-ago me, London is the UK, UK is London. It’s like three years ago when you mentioned China in a small town here, they’d say : “ohhhh yes Beijing, Beijing.”

I’d say: “Ohh yes yes, London. The United Kingdom.”

If you asked me that time “are Beijing and London alike?” No, of course not. Are you seriously asking me this?

Now I would like to say, big cities Are alike. They are glorious, they are frosty. Actually, the frost is born from their glory. And the common frosty city makes one single kindness look like it’s never been so kind before. In between of the coldness and kindness, stand the non-local Londoners. They are hurt, they are healed, they are raised by the city, just like this.

It was myfirst weekend, I decided to go for a walk.

Where I live is quite far from what we say the “big fancy London”. On contrary, except for Coop and Sainsbury’s, here are four, five local shops downstairs: Indian takeaway, off licence shop plus post office, open-till-late local shop always with fresh veg, fruits and mint leaves outside, and a pet clinic, which has a video of cute doggies and kittens playing all the time in the shop window thingy.

The busiest one is obviously the post office. Everyday I looked down, the queue is over 5 meters.

Well, don’t ask me why I am so obsessed with looking down from the window.

Anyway, I decided to go for a walk, go down along the road to discover what’s around, all the way to the nearest high street.

It was a bit rainy on my way, not much tree so everything was grey. Unsurprisingly, not many funny shops around. Local foodstores, Chinese takeaway, flooring shops, lighting shops, ended up with a dental clinic-Start with animals and end with human teeth.

I know some of you wouldn’t care. For some people, it doesn’t matter if they can get a cup of coffee downstairs in the morning. Wherever they live doesn’t matter that much too. But sorry, I am the girl who need love and sunshine all the time. Without human stories, without love from strangers, without something going on, I don’t feel alive.

The high street didn’t disappoint me: There’s a market beside a church. A guy selling old clothes was playing music so loud. Many people was attracted, guys stood and listened, girls stoped walking and started to dance.

To mix in the vibe, you have to drink what they drink. So I took out myonly 5 pound cash and bought a cup of mulled wine.

“When will it be over?” A voice from someone.

“Last song, one more minute!” Answered the DJ shop owner, with a smile, or without.

About one minute later, music suddenly stoped. People started to gather in front of the church. A man in black jacket stood at front, lifted his arm, waved.

It’s a choir. They’re singing Christmasy songs.

People started to gather around: photographers, residents, girls, man with kid, me. We were listening, we were clapping, at last we were singing.

I was a bit overwhelmed. Where there is music, there is life. Here is not fancy London, here is life.