new kid in the city

September 2022 will always be a special month for me. Not because season two of The Kardashians came out (can we please talk about Khloe!?), but because I made the big move to Bristol.  

After living in Bath for a year, I naively assumed that moving to Bristol would be easy and breezy, a walk in the park if you may. However, true to Bristol weather, it was rainy, chilly and a real climb.  

While I am still finding my place here, I’ve been observing and taking this city in bit by bit, every day. While it’s a big difference from Bath, and even more so from Bombay (where I’m from), it’s growing on me, and I’m kinda enjoying it. Here are a few things I’ve learned during my first month here. 

Toto, we’re not in a small spa town anymore 

When I was in Bath, everything (and I mean everything) was at most, a 15-minute walk away. Whether it was any of the grocery shops, pubs, clubs, high street, parks, lakes or even your Tinder date’s house, it was all walkable, that too safely. In Bristol, however, it’s far from it.  

Walking isn’t an option unless your legs are built for hour-long walks or your glutes from steep climbs. To be fair, this has saved me the cost of a gym membership for now, but it’s not a permanent fix in any way, especially not with the winter approaching. The only options left for me are trains and buses, the former unreliable because of strikes and the latter because of, well, I honestly do not know why they are never on time. That leaves me with either a 25-minute wait or a £25 taxi – neither great options.  

The Una-VOI-dable Transport 

See what I did there? Sorry, not sorry. Back to my point, the two-wheelers in Bristol are everywhere. Over the past month, I’ve seen a spectrum of two-wheelers, right from mountain bikes to very funky-looking e-scooters. As someone who has the balance of a drunk fresher, the abundance of two-wheelers does not sit well with me (not like I sit well on them). I’ve had some painful experiences with Vois and truly fear getting on one. However, with no car, not enough money to blow up and not enough time to walk, two-wheelers may just be my saving grace which I will have to embrace (Okay, yes, I am sorry for that one). 

The Great Graffiti Walls 

The one thing I absolutely love about Bristol is its plethora of graffitied walls. Each one is unique, tells a different story and makes for a banging photo backdrop. Jokes aside, these walls give Bristol its character and I absolutely love it. Not to sound corny, but they genuinely do make my day more colourful.  

There are a few I pass on my way to work and every now and then, they seem to have a new element added to them every now and then, which again, I love to see. The walls lend the city the “artsy” vibe I had heard so much about, but now actually live in. As my mom would term it, they are “very hip indeed”. 

Music. Music everywhere

In Bristol, the hills are genuinely alive with the sound of music. No matter what I’ve been in the mood for, be it house, DnB, classic rock, pop or even funky jazz, Bristol will have a gig for it. I’ve always been picky when it comes to exploring new music, but Bristol’s music has made me a new person as I’ve found myself wanting to hear new genres and artists and do away with my tried and tested playlists. I’m pretty sure being here is my musical renaissance. 

Everybody Loves Clifton 

Whether it’s the coloured row homes, the high-top view, the endless food choices or the pricey pubs, Clifton is pretty much Bristol’s Bel Air. Well, maybe not exactly, but hey, I’ve only been here a month, so maybe take my opinion with a grain of salt.  

Clifton is all posh, polished and pampered, which nullifies how far it really is. One of my best days spent in this city was in Clifton last weekend, where all I did was walk around the rows of coloured houses and end up on the hill with a view of the famous bridge, eating  Cadbury’s Flake ice cream. Looking back, it doesn’t sound like much, but it was incredible. Just sitting by the observatory with my friends taking in the gorgeous views was enough to make it a really great day. 

Believe it or not, it was love at first sight between me and this city. And I know I’m only a month in, but I can tell how much happier I am here already. It may just be the best thing to happen to me after Adele’s album, “30”, and that’s really saying something. Let’s hope this honeymoon phase lasts and lasts.