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A First Glance at Surrey, Guildford

India-Oman-United Kingdom Postgraduate Student at Uni of Surrey


We all have a first impression about places and their culture and what they represent. I moved to Guildford, Surrey last week from Muscat, Oman for my further studies. I'm going to try my best to describe my first impression of this place from a first time visitor's point-of-view.


My journey here began from Heathrow; first impression? Freezing cold, so much I couldn't feel my hands; perks of having lived in a burning hot country for very long I guess. Then about a 10 minute journey or less and I was in Surrey at the student accommodation. The ride from London was peaceful, the view was just as I'd seen in movies or exactly what I'd expected to see. The occassional green, the weird looking winter trees (bad at identifying, bear with me), the traffic wasn't a bother, (probably because of the timing), the architecture that screamed 'This is England' (or is it because I've not seen the rest of England? I don't know).

Guildford gave me mixed vibes, neither too quiet and calm to be given a 'countryside vibe' tag, nor too chaotic to be give a 'city' tag. If you head out to Tesco, it is crowded, if you head out for a walk in the morning, it is so calm and peaceful, you could compose a few poems alongside.

The town centre is a whole different story. I didn't expect to find a variety of Asian cuisines to try out. On my first visit I had food from Atto, on my second I had lunch at The Hungry Buddha. I wasn't disappointed with either, probably because I don't have a favourite cuisine or a particular liking, I was contended with the options available. Although, I heard from a who another student who had pizza delivered that it wasn't as good as expected. I wouldn't come to conlcusion about that without trying it myself though.

As for shopping, other than Tesco, I checked out M&S Food. This came as a surprise because back in Muscat, Marks and Spencer was purely a retail company or maybe I'm just too dumb to not have known. It had more variety than Tesco, but I couldn't find a lot of options with Indian food.


To conlcude, Guildford was new to me, a bunch of things I had to figuire out on my own and that was probably the beauty of it. But there are another bunch of things I must figure out. Things that I would like to do next? Try out food at Kokoro, find some Asian supermarket, open a bank account, explore the Town Centre and a bunch of things I probably don't know of yet. I'm looking forward to making new memories and discovering new aspects of life along this new path. Thank you for reading so far. Until next time...

I'm yet to find an Asian supermarket for instant ramen and stuff that's easy to cook(because my cooking abilities are below anything known to mankind). Next, was the communting. Bus is a fairly new concept to me because I always had a car at my beck and call back home. Riding a bus was a whole new experience (other than the fact that my travel card got declined twice, the embarrassment of which I will never recover from, but anyway..). The bus stations are pretty clear with the details of stops and timings. Moreover, the Stagecoach app was helpful in this regard.

© 2022 Rushali Prasad