I am happy in this cold, cool and unpleasant city. By Susana Trill.

Susana Trill

Susana arrived in London in July 2012 and she is working as an early years teacher and Spanish teacher. She would like to find a job as a Spanish primary teacher. She is also very focused on going to university to get a masters degree.

As part of the The Writing Project, Susana has shared this story . . .

I am happy in this cold, cool and unpleasant city.

By Susana Trill.


If I hadn’t made the decision to come to London three years ago, I would still be in my cosy little flat in Madrid getting ready to go out with my friends, perhaps to have a drink or maybe to go to an exhibition. That’s what I used to do after work when I was in Spain. My salary wasn’t very high but it was enough to rent a one bedroom flat in the city centre, I had a car and I could afford to enjoy holidays in the summer and at Christmas. It could have been enough for someone my age. However, something deep inside was telling me that there was more to life than that.

Over coffee with my boss one sunny afternoon and without having worked out what I was going to say, I asked if it would be possible to have one year off to improve my English. Stirring her coffee and with a completely straight face she said, ‘of course, if it is to study, yes, I don´t have a problem with that.’

Fast foward to my last day in Spain, It was a warm sunny morning and I was having breakfast with my best friend at 7 in the morning. It is always hard to say goodbye to a friend but I sensed that something wasn’t quite right.  Anyway, we said good bye and I expected that we would keep in touch. Sadly, since I arrived in London she hasn’t called me or made any contact by email or text.

I spent a year struggling to find my feet in this cool, cold and unpleasant city. I learned enough English to understand that the tube was stuck for 15 minutes because a man had decided to end his life, my English was enough to understand the voice message left by the lady I was working for which said that she had decided to make me redundant.

Although I also learned how to ask for (and of course pay for) a round. . . and how to continue struggling.

However, at the back of my mind  I was still wondering why my friend had stopped talking to me. Now after three years of effort, I decided to stay, because London, this magnificent (and cold and unfriendly city) is giving me the opportunity to be free and to know that life doesn’t have any limits.

By, moving to London I realise that I had laid out my friend’s life in front of her and it was painful for her. She chose to limit herself in order to stay safe. I, on the other hand, decided to break out of my comfort zone .

Paradoxically, I actually have more in my life now that I have less. Friends come and go, and that friend is in the past now.

I am not upset about losing her because what’s important is that I found myself.