Good things about returning to UK?(56 Posts)
Oh HHH not been away nearly as long as you nor roots as deep so can only imagine what a wrench either way...sounds like you've been through the mill, have you got good friends over there?? Expats who "get" it as well as locals??
You need a "horrible things about the UK" thread . Shall i start??
Grey buildings, sky, landscapes, people
Can't do culture
Old world and its limitations rather than new world and its possibilities
Oh and thanks to those who posted SA related links! Yes to all of them i think, v true.
Oh god reading this thread I'm nearly in tears. I'm in the Antipodes, been here nearly 30 years, single parent for the last 10, 3 kids, all adults now, this is home to them, they've known no other.
UK is still 'home' to me but the reality is I've no close rellies there and if I moved back I'd not see my kids for years on end, so I've no choice really but to stay here, but my heart yearns for England.
I still miss:
good sausages and ham
Oh, and it's nice to be somewhere where the pavements contain pedestrians, and cycle paths contain cyclists. Where I live the locals think it's perfectly acceptable to drive up the pavement and across the cycle path as a shortcut to skip the queue at a red traffic light.
It has to be seen to be believed really.
I am in the Middle East too. I am longing to go cosmetics and perfume shopping when I go home. Not because we don't have them here - we do, in huge abundance. But the sales staff outnumber to customers three to one, and are like desperate leeches that attack you the second you get in the door, then they literally follow you around the shop, watching you like a hawk, and if you hand wanders towards any product to look at it, or your eye rests for a split second too long on something, they are there, in your face, trying to sell it to you. Yet on the odd occasion I have decided to play along and ask questions about the product (perfume for example) that can't tell me a damn thing about it.
If I appear to be looking a perfumes they'll just pick up whatever's newest (some Kim Kardashian crap or other) and say 'try this mam, it's new. Best Seller. Very popular.' and try to douse me in the stuff.
And if I go in with something specific in mind, let's say a Chanel lipstick, and they don't have it in stock and am immediately asked if I'd like to buy some Chanel moisturiser instead. Er....no, thanks.
I am actually becoming too intimidated and annoyed to cross the threshold now. Customer service is a very odd thing out here. It's either non-existent and clueless or you feel like you are being stalked and bullied. There's no in between.
I have done this move many times. Here are some things to look forward to in the UK:
It's comparatively MUCH safer. You will be able to walk out at night and be reasonably safe.
Public transport is available.
Shopping is SO MUCH better than South Africa.
The roads are a thousand times safer.
You will sleep better at night - I couldn't believe how different I felt.
I wish I could say you'd have to deal with less corruption and bureaucracy but it will just be of a different kind.
fussychica I like your list but I have to admit when I read "customer service" I laughed out loud as that's never been my life-long experience of the UK. But I suppose its about contrast with where you've been living and I've never lived in Spain, only taken trips there. ( I did love it)
Been back a couple of months after 2yrs in Oz and it has been like putting on a warm blanket.
Yesterday it was grey and drizzly and miserable, but the snowdrops are everywhere, the leaves are coming out on the roses and the wood fire was cosy.
Today is spring. Clear blue skies, birds singing.
Things I missed:
Being able to laugh with the checkout person
Antique shops and jumble sales where you can find something really old for next to nothing
Town centres rather than malls
Non tooth breaking biscuits
"On in the village hall if wet"
Been back in UK 18 mths after 8 years in Spain
wonderful choice of food/ supermarkets especially Waitrose,
Being able to talk to someone without having to think what I'm going to say (my lousy Spanish),
being able to drink tap water,
not wearing insect repellant,
less extreme weather though that much rain did become close,
green fields & trees,
reliable TV reception,
my mountain view,
sun, sun & sun
Wearing vest, T shirt & flip flops for 80% of the year
being able to do washing and dry it outside or gardening for that matter, on about 300 days a year instead of 50!;
fresh oranges (and juice) from our trees,
my lovely neighbours and friends,
Really it's probably only the lack of sun that might drive me away again - sad but true.
For me personally, the only thing I can't get here (Los Angeles) that I can get in London is a bit of light-hearted sarcastic banter. I do miss that.
Sugarbeach - you're right, your concept of home will get frozen in time. Having lived abroad for some years, I was shocked to come back 'home' and find myself a little hostile to some aspects of it (mainly the fact that people are just so less tolerant of children here in the UK). I went through the whole 'culture shock' thing again, which I'd gone through the other way around when I orginally emigrated.
You also find yourself, when you live abroad, looking at good old Blighty through rose-tinted glasses. Curryeater mentions 'lying on the ground under a huge chestnut tree' but fails to recall the risk of being knocked unconscious by a falling chestnut, or being blinded by a splat of pigeon shit while lying there.... You start to view life in the UK as being like living in the middle of films like Notting Hill or episodes of Miss Marple, and it's really not like that at all.
Sometimes it's worth reminding yourselves of things like the riots in the summer of 2011.
what a cheering thread!
of course the UK is not perfect - but it's still wonderful.
No place is perfect....also there's no place like home.....home will always be home, whatever it's flaws....but my concept of home may be frozen in time when I left and I fear that I might be disappointed when I find that it's changed from how I remember it....
You can drive with your window open and the door unlocked. And no burglar bars (that was the biggest 'relief' for me)
You can park at tesco without having to pay R1 to have somebody mind the car.
Proper cheese (not the orange cheddar)
Readybrek not ProNutra
Having Mothers' Day on the right day!
Not assuming every loud bang is a gunshot.
But....how you'll miss the laid-back but can-do SA attitude, braais and the blue blue sky..
When I was on a temporary 6-month contract in the Middle East the things I missed most were:
Weather. Any type, so long as it wasn't the same every day
Safe road use
Proximity to Europe
Finding somewhere peaceful and quiet (everything there was very full-on)
There's plenty wrong with the UK, but there is no 'perfect place' on earth - something will always be found lacking. There are better places than here, but there are far worse too.
It could be that I'm homesick or it's the rose tinted glasses.....I've been away from the Uk for 2 1/2 years now, been in Dubai and now KL.....what I miss about the uk...
The super supermarkets
A reliable postal system
The snowdrops, then daffodils, then bluebells, then summer blooms, the autumn leaves, snow.....
More opportunities to be more involved and embedded in village life
Shop assistants who are actually able to help rather than hover around you then look blank when you ask a question....
Having been in the Middle East, it's so nice to be in a country where people regard themselves as equal to everyone else and there's no need for obsequious "yes Mam", "no Mam", just because I'm white and western.
Being able to let the dog off the lead for a run in green fields with other friendly dogs.
Real customer service instead of lies and "inshallah"
People turn up (more or less) when they say they will
Mostly sensible drivers who consider road rules to be more than just advisory and then only for other idiots who don't have a local passport and a Daddy in government.
Laws which apply to all equally.
chicken that isn't 50% water and keeps for longer than 1 day.
Sometimes I read the moans about this country and think how little people know about how most of the world lives.
bbc, nhs, weather that will hardly ever kill you even if you have to sleep rough, insects that don't kill you either, lovely tasting tap water, ancient churches, good tea, gentle irony, lying on the ground under a huge chestnut tree on a summer's day
Oh yes, Boots, pussywillow and dare i agree, supermarkets! Sigh.. Sigh again as i look out on our parched "lawn". The trees are quite green, but not very.
What with iplayer etc i can have R4, bbc tv etc in the sun too, lovely!
footpaths and ordnance survey maps
No honestly. Being able to map a route for miles across countryside and walk/run it without having to worry about cars. And of course atm there are snowdrops everywhere and a few primroses too. And crocuses and pussywillow.... Soon bluebells and campion. But not much good if you are in a city perhaps
Just moved back from Oz after 4 and a half years and very much enjoying:
Huge choice of food in supermarkets (keep spending ages wandering up and down the aisles in supermarkets gazing at lovely selection of different foodstuffs)
Beautiful green fields and countryside in general
Relatively stable weather (OK it's obviously much colder but there aren't any floods/cyclones/extreme heatwaves/supercell storms etc)
Proximity to family - hadn't realised quite how much I had been missing them.
Being able to walk everywhere
Stuff going on - local gigs, events for kids etc. Nothing like this in the 'burbs in Australia.
Cost of living - I know this has been debated elsewhere but we are finding it much much cheaper here.
Also decent beer (DH has taken it upon himself to sample a wide variety of this)
Not sure how I'll feel in a year though, grass being greener and all that but for now am very glad we moved back.
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