Most of my British friends walk fast.

Some of them walk very fast. All of them walk faster than me. When I came to this country, I became aware I was a slow walker. Until then, walking speed was not a question. My friends and I walked at the same pace: the closer we were, the slower we walked; the more engaging the conversation, the slower we walked. Speed was a concept I had never discussed before. In the distance, I reckon the slowness of pace was deeply intertwined with the level of connection.

Now, as a result of living in London, I walk faster. Not fast, but faster. Not as fast as my British friends, but quicker than many Spanish ones. They walk and talk as if there is no rush, no place to go, no tube to catch. As if life is perambulation without an end.

I am, once again, in no-woman’s-land. A foreigner in my own language. A foreigner at my own speed.

February 21, 2023