What Derby means to me

Asen Iliev

Bulgarian

You never know what destiny has prepared for you. Life is so unexpected, for example I’ve never thought that I would write my own story IN ENGLISH or even be fluent IN ENGLISH. And that’s all due to my arriving in Derby.

When I came to Derby with my family, I can remember that it was raining cats and dogs. Our family friend came to meet us from the airport at Birmingham. As soon as I got off the plane the first thing I noticed was the fresh air and how it is not as toxic as the air in my country, Bulgaria. I know it sounds weird but trust me, there is a difference in the air. Then I started noticing lots of differences.

The first time I went out in Derby’s city centre with our family friend’s son (who also has studied at Derby College) I was very interested by the environment. So many different races, cultures, people’s appearance & a itudes, buildings and just everything in general. Every time I go out I can hear the noise of the crowd in town, the noise of probably more than 20 different languages all at once.

I started liking it, but sometime afterwards I also started missing my country and wanted to go back because my friends and next of kin were there.

Thankfully, the nostalgia didn’t last long, and it went away. Focusing on my education, I started recognising how the experience of living in Derby has changed me and it has changed my character a lot. For now, I’ll continue living in Derby. However in the future I’d like to move to a bigger city because than would mean more opportunities for me.

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