Settling in to a new life in London, Kyomm has made some interesting observations in her first year here – one of them to do with Potatoes! Below she muses on what she misses from her home country of Uganda, her favourite places in London to go out for a meal and her favourite way to pass a Saturday in this city. Kyomm blogs at Vow. Move. Live.
LLO: Tell us a bit about yourself and your background. Where are you from originally, how long have you been in London and what brought you here?
KA: My name is Kyomugisha (Kyomm) Aman and I am a 28-year-old Ugandan with a background in human medicine. I moved to London a year ago to join my husband.
LLO: As an expat, what does the word “home” mean to you?
KA: I believe that home is where the heart is. For me, it is wherever my husband and I choose to live; whether it’s our birth home, Uganda, or elsewhere. Uganda is always close to our hearts though.
LLO: What do you miss most from Uganda? If you were to leave London, what would you least like to leave behind?
KA: I miss the people I had in my life. I am grateful for a loving family and loyal friends. I miss being able to see them often and share experiences. I also miss the sense of community, variety of tropical fruits, the endless weddings and ceremonies, the genuine friendships and the sun.
If I were to leave London, I would miss the (mostly) reliable transport system, politicians who are accountable for their actions, being able to have value for money, having variety of everything at my disposal and my lovely neighbourhood.
LLO: Let’s talk food. Have you found any Ugandan restaurants in London? Any recommendations?
KA: I have not, I’m afraid! My mother taught me well, I am able to cook several Ugandan dishes. My cousin recommends Exceline Exotic Dishes for Sunday lunch. I really should go try out their food.
LLO: If you’re heading out for dinner or drinks in London, where are your favourite places to go?
KA: We try to go to different restaurants every time. Some memorable ones are Preto (I, literally, crushed in there), Manna (vegetarian for a change) and Bluebird Chelsea (classy).
LLO: Best London discovery?
KA: Bus 11; a friend took me on a trip across London from Liverpool Street to Fulham Broadway. I saw a lot of London on that one bus journey and have tried to visit the places I saw along the way.
LLO: Since moving to London, what have been your biggest challenges and most rewarding moments?
KA: Biggest challenges: making lasting connections, opening a bank account and realising that I am no good at picking up accents – not even the BBC one!
Most rewarding moments: finding a church that I love, the opportunity to volunteer regularly at a food bank and starting my blog – Vow. Move. Live.
LLO: What is your favourite way to spend a Saturday in London?
KA: Window shopping, browsing and actual shopping. I, particularly, like to check out what’s on sale in Zara, The Gap and Mango (in that order). I’ll go into the shops about three or four times, but I try not to if I have company. Few people are able to tolerate this kind of foolishness!
LLO: What’s the best part about living in your postcode and why?
KA: It is so calm, so quiet and so clean. It also helps that it is by the riverside.
LLO: What three little observations have you made about London life that you didn’t expect before you arrived?
KA: 1.) It’s refreshing to see people instinctively queue up for literally everything! 2.) I was shocked to see everyone with their ear phones everywhere. People are missing out on life around them. 3.) Apparently, there are more types of potato than sweet and regular; some are for boiling, some for roasting and others are for baking. Who knew? I once blamed a reputable supermarket for 2.5kg of crumbled boiled potatoes.
Follow along on Kyomm’s London adventures on her blog, Vow. Move. Live.