I’m Lenin Vázquez and I am a Philosophy undergraduate student at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). I got back to Mexico 3 days before the start of the Spring semester at UNAM, after spending one semester abroad at King’s College London (KCL). The Philosophical Research Institute (where I spend most of my time while at UNAM) is located right in the middle of the UNAM’s Ecological Reservoir, at the University City Campus, in Mexico City. Once there (I think on the first Tuesday back), I felt the need to take stroll around the Reservoir, because I could not concentrate properly on writing my thesis (which, I must say, I’m about to finish). I was on the top of one of those volcanic rocks amongst trees and bushes when, suddenly, it came to me what was happening to me. I had been feeling rather strange. I was not feeling sad, or, for that matter, feeling anything at all.
Turns out I missed my life in London.
That was the reason I could not find a reason to smile during those days. That was the reason I felt that the great kindness I had experienced from everyone there would not flow from me in any future interaction with people. More terrifying, I thought that all the memories of what I’d lived (like that of the time I hugged a complete stranger at a pub when he told me he was at his coming-out party; or that of the time that I cried while listening to Schoenberg’s ‘Friede auf Erden’ during a candlelight Carol Service at KCL; or that of the time my friends at the KCL Gilbert & Sullivan sang a farewell song they entitled ‘For he is a Mexican’, based on G&S’s own HMS Pinafore), all those memories would die with me. No one else would know about that, and it was only me who bridged the gap between those two completely different worlds. Much has happened since I returned, and now I am a much more pulled-together version of myself than the one I was when I’d just returned to Mexico. I can look back now and be thankful for the immense luck I had whilst I was in London. England has a part of me now. Now I can see that I also have a part of England, and our stories were strongly tied together from the very time I got my acceptance letter at King’s.
Much has happened since I returned, and now I am a much more pulled-together version of myself…
While I was in London, I joined the Lyra Singers Choir, the New London Opera Group, and the KCL Gilbert & Sullivan Society. I love music and being in London gave me amazing chances to engage with classical singing. This photo is after a Purcell music concert performed by the New London Opera Group. Those pictured are some of my the best friends I had whilst I was there.
This photo I took it at the Royal Institute of Philosophy building in Gordon Square. I wanted to attend a Timothy Williamson talk there, but, alas, I got there late. Philosophy was the main reason why I got to London in the first place.
I attended a performance of Haendel’s Messiah at Middle Temple Hall. My upstairs neighbours, a French couple living in London, invited me to go with them after it was established that I liked music. This was established one early morning, at 5 a.m. when I woke them up after a singing session I had in my bathroom. As an apology I got them a blueberry cake and, as an atonement gift, they took me to the concert.
This photo was taken by a guy I met on a boat trip organized by KCL. Some other few people and I decided not to go to the bottom deck when the rain started. This photo was taken whilst it rained.
This photo was taken after a candlelight Carol Service at Kings’ Chapel. There, I had one of my greatest musical experiences I’ve ever. The King’s Choir had been singing quite classical repertoire and, all of a sudden, they started singing Arnold Schoenberg’s ‘Friede auf Erden’. I was so moved that I went there the next day. The young chap in the picture is another great friend from London, Geoffrey, he was the president of KCL Gilbert & Sullivan Society and, like me, a steward during that service.