And it's not over yet! I arrived back in London on Monday after two weeks of New York, went in to work on Tuesday and am now on my way to Amsterdam, to fly to Japan tomorrow.
New York has been an amazing experience. It was my first time visiting and I was a bit overwhelmed at first. I noticed many similarities with other big cities such as London, but also striking differences. In particular, the way the people react and interact with you is way different than in London. Americans are much more open to striking up a conversation, for better (strange girl writing a book about obese zombies that steal your soul) and worse (random poor people trying to scam you into something).
If anything, New York is more 'big city'-like than London, which is amazing if you're visiting for a while because you'll get a chance to be a part of all the madness that goes on there. But I think that living there would end up very tiring indeed. Staying in New York helped me realize that I am perhaps more of a countryside person than I thought. It's something I want to pursue further in the near future.
But the best thing about New York was by and far the chance to meet my friends again. I hadn't seen most of them since I left Japan, and it was the best reunion ever. I was truly amazed at how everyone progressed in life and how we still got along so well. I missed them, and I will miss them again. The AK people are all brilliant, every single one of them. I hope to see them again soon.
Unfortunately, a couple of days before returning to London, the disk in my laptop broke turning it into useless weight. I tried to fix it in NY but failed. Yesterday I had a chance to fix it at work and realized that I had messed things up quite badly. My laptop contained two hard disks, one SSD (the broken one) and an HDD encrypted with Truecrypt. I don't know exactly how it happened, but after installing Windows my encrypted HDD lacked all partitions and I could not access any of my data. I'd like to think that I'm not stupid enough to delete the partitions off of the wrong hard disk, so I suspect that the Windows installation thought the encrypted HDD was empty and overwrote the partition table, thereby deleting the information I needed to decrypt the volume. I will not forget to create a rescue disk from now on..
So I'm data-less! I have an almost entirely clean laptop. No movies, no music, no games. And no photos. It'll take me ages to download the backup from my other PC. And worst of all, I suspect that some of my most recent photos may have been lost. If this is true it will have been the first time I have suffered data loss in over a decade. I'm very sad about that.
Tonight I'm heading to Amsterdam, only to fly back to London the next morning to catch the British Airways flight to Japan. Even though the flight to Japan goes via London, it was cheaper to book it from Amsterdam than from London, even including the additional flight needed to get to Amsterdam. Airline companies are idiotic like that.
Soon I will be in the bus from Narita to Atsugi. And then I can finally relax.