Many years passed before I realised you can "travel" in your own country, that we are actually surrounded by exotic locations, places we've never seen and dialects we don't understand... I'm visiting England's second biggest city precisely because it's not somewhere a visitor to the UK would normally visit.
January brings with it a much more vicious and ferocious beast than a few Facebook updates from Jen about how 2014 is her year (and that her cheating boyfriend can go to hell). Allow me to introduce to you, the January sales-seekers, otherwise known as the most horrible people you will come across in January (maybe).
A spring is certainly present in a lot of Londoners steps right now. They're pleased to hear that they can party all night and take multiple methods of transport home rather than dashing for the last tube or trying to find where that night bus goes from. However, there are so many issues with this idea.
What events like the Royal Wedding, the London Olympics and Wimbledon show are that, deep down, we are in fact amongst that most genuine and charming people out there. Give us a bottle of Pimms and we'll stumble and knock over our metaphorical walls. Give us a bit of sun as a remedy to our coldness, and our solar-powered souls are reinvigorated.
Summer is over. My big brown winter coat twinkles at me. But, I ignore his advances. As I explain to him, Jack Frost isn't exactly banging on my windows shouting obscenities. I have not yet walked outside and quivered the words "Cor blimey guvnor". No doubt I will, but not yet my big brown friend. You stay where you are. Oh, you heard me. Back to the coat hook. Off you go.
My father has never left the tiny corner of Mumbai in which he lives. He was born deaf, at a time when being disabled meant you were condemned to a limited formal education. His trip, stressful and unforgettable, helped me see London - and my father - differently. With Father's Day coming up, it helped us look at my dad through clear, unsentimental eyes of grown up adults.
Last year, using Freedom of Information requests, I carried out an investigation, which asked every NHS Foundation Trust for the amount of debt owed by foreign nationals - both written off and unpaid. By October 2011, I had gathered responses from over 118 trusts, showing that that more than £40 million had been written off or was still outstanding.