So we did what everyone does here: we headed for the pub.
There's a little spot just down the road from the school with the sweetest bartenders... pubtenders... mistresses and masters of draught... what do you call the people who work behind the bar at the public house? Anyways, they were so dear. I ended up buying a raffle ticket to help renovate the local children's hospital along with my beverage because it seemed like, yes, that was something a person should do. Buy a beverage, save the world. That will be three pounds six-pence, please.
We talked and laughed and regaled each other with stories. We discussed hopes and dreams and all of the factors that led us to this path. We concluded that everyone in our ensemble is an absolute darling and how rare it is to be in a group where there isn't at least "one" who makes you groan. There were some other members of other ensembles there, and we learned that what our group has is even rare within the program this year. All of our classmates work hard, love what they do, and everyone around our table was in agreement that there is nothing but mutual admiration and adoration for everyone in our troupe. Here! Here! So say we all!
As the night wore on, we realized it was 8:30PM (or 20:30 as I'm learning to think over here, which makes ever so much more sense) and our stomachs were growling. So, we wandered down the street for some Indian food. I cannot even describe the curries and chutneys and naan. Each bite had layers of flavor, exotic spices I've never tasted, savory and hot, cool and creamy. I'm craving some take-away even as I write this. I realized the Indian food I've been eating in America was akin to saying you know Mexican food because you've eaten at Taco Bell. We closed the place down with more laughter and world-problem-solving. It was close to the witching hour when we finally hugged each other goodbye at the Tube and went our separate ways. I sat next to my open window listening to all of the friendships, old and new, spilling out into the world through their open windows as others experienced what I had that night. These new friends are a part of me, our shared experiences and joys carving new pathways in my thoughts, and I am a part of them and the memories they shall carry from this day forward. It is not an "I" who is experiencing this course. It is now a "we". And we are coloring each other's futures in ways we cannot even begin to understand. We are each the pebbles in the still pond. Who knows how far the ripples will go.