Usually things that are over a decade ago feel so far way to me that i can barely remember. Not so with the day i set a foot into London for the first time. I was a 20 and had just left school. A little naive running after a lost love to Portsmouth. Saddened by their rejection i took the train to the Big Smoke stepped out at Euston station and made my way into Soho. My eyes did not believe what they saw. My jaw dropped open and would not close anymore. The Nineties in SOHO. It was wild and felt dangerously exciting! The time when record shops where still buzzing. Full of boys who wanted to be DJ’s and the bookstores where the second biggest destination directly next to sex shops, strip clubs and bars. It was the jungle that offered everything i desired. Within minutes the heart pain was forgotten because what i saw that day had such impact on my soul and on everything i would do for the rest of my life. I saw Black people. They where everywhere. I knew about the Indians and Pakistani but how did i not know about the Jamaicans and Africans? I was only 1 hour flight away from home. For the first time in my life i felt ‘undercover’ and remember thinking: ‘I could probably strip naked and piss on the street and nobody would see it’.
For the first time in my life i wasn’t stared at. I wasn’t the center of attention just because i was black. Nobody cared to watch me. I could step onto a bus to just sit down minding my own business or go to a shop without being complimented on my skin colour or accent free language. I started crying. I cried for the liberation i felt that day. Today i would say i also cried in hate for my parents. Cause even though my friends where allowed they forbid me to travel to London for most of my teenage years. Their fear i could find happiness elsewhere then home robbed me of the experience of feeling ‘ normal’ during my puberty. Something that had certainly damaged me being the only black girl in my school and neighbourhood.
However, i was now in Love with the expensive city that is London and it’s diversity. That time i did’t have the guts to take it on as my home. I enjoyed a few days wondering around this impressive town taking in as much as i could. Then returned home knowing i wasn’t gonna stay in Germany. I was so inspired and wanted to see the rest of the world. That was the beginning of my 10 year long journey through amazing cities and countries looking for my identity and a new home. Secretly knowing in the back of my head that it would be London one day.