There's nothing like that here; it has been an honour and a privilege to be around the members of UNITAS for the last eight months. They've been kind and friendly, even after I spent the first semester locked in my room. There's Sona, a graduate student who has been to most of the countries in the Far East; he never gave up on me, was always been wiling to help at a moment's notice, and has been the best neighbour I could possibly ask for. Kavita is going to be such a wonderful teacher; she's full of life, boundless enthusiasm, and she has been practicing reading stories aloud to anybody on the hall who can't move fast enough to escape. Paul will have deep and probing conversations about the meaning of existence at five in the morning, asking the questions that we never dare to say out loud. Parthe has often got up as early as I did, so I applaud the gentlemanly conduct we indulged in, leading to only one occasion when we left our rooms at the exact moment for a shower. I could go on for a long time, but I'll finish with Laura. I don't think I've met anybody quite so dedicated to the causes that she believes in. This doesn't mean that she's a mindless zealot, though; like all good journalists, she's interested in the truth than being caught up in partisan spin. On top of that, she's funny, keenly intelligent, and a supporter of Liverpool. I suppose I can overlook that last one. As I said, it has been an honour to be with them; my regret is that I didn't do it sooner.
(For anybody who's wondering, Rishi is French. Otherwise he'd be up there as well. One of the greatest friends I've had the pleasure of making)
The city itself is full of friendly people, always ready to stop and pass the time of day, with a public transport system that easily outstrips anything in a comparatively sized British town. No, it's not perfect. But what is? If you look hard enough, you probably will find racists, narrow-minded people, and so on, but is that really any different from home? Where 142 voters in my home town honestly thought that a National Front member should represent their views in the local council? No, it's not perfect, but neither are we.
My biggest fear is that I will lose contact with these people. I hope that I will know them for the rest of my life — that we shall always remain close, even if the physical distance between us is vast.
On that note, I turn sideways to the sun, and in a moment I am gone.