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‘Oh sweet England…’

19 August 2006
Posted in: Scratchpad | 6 Comments

Or so the song goes. England is not all sweet, but it can grow on you. It’s hard not to like it, though.

As for me, I’m back from my fortnight-long trip, and enjoying my jet lag as it is the only thing that makes the trip feel real. Otherwise, it was like I was never away! At another level, it felt like going to a different reality (Reality?!) and coming back—and I’ve even got Homesick Syndrome to show for it!!

I had a great time, and I intend to document the entire Lake District visit sometime soon when my brain gets back to working properly. England is so quiet, peaceful (for the most part ;-)), and the countryside is really beautiful. I have some 400 photographs, but each one seems disappointing compared to reality.

Here’s a quick list of the places I visited in England:

– London (no sightseeing, thank you very much; but a Grey’s Anatomy marathon!)
– Keswick (in the Lake District)
– Buttermere (the village where we camped in the Lake District)
– Preston (where Stephen Fuller in my book comes from [and where, some years ago, I had expected to live for a short while])
– Birmingham
– Sheffield
– Stratford-upon-Avon (that Shakespeare place)

And here are some strange things about England and the English:

– There seem to be more ‘foreigners’ than English people, honestly! And Indians… they are everywhere—and always complaining the loudest!!
– The English are truly obssessed with the weather! That said, it is probably a wise thing to be, as the weather is just as truly fickle.
– Contrary to rumour, they are really rather friendly. And also rather helpful and so incredibly polite! (Of course, that made me realize just how rude we Indians are!) After a point in the Lake District I thought it might be a better idea to carry a banner saying, “Good morning, okay?! Now will you stop trying to talk to me?” Or better still, “No spik the English!”
– English dogs are better behaved than English children.
– The legendary English inefficiency is definitely not mythical! They are so laidback, it’s no joke. However, not getting rattled means they take screw-ups really well. And are really good at apologizing. As was evident after the salesman at Game said to me, “Sorry, son, I can’t sell you that [a game rated 16+]!”
– The security at Heathrow (London) sucks. Despite the recent terror scare—which everyone believes was more hype than veracity—my luggage was never X-rayed or sealed like it is in Indian airports; I wasn’t body-searched; in fact, they just waved me through the security check area after X-raying my hand bag and shoes; and they let anyone walk into the airport, right up to the security check area!!
– Things aren’t that expensive if you know where to look.
– TV is crap! I have never seen so many old programmes in my life!

Right now, my life feels strangely unreal. Everything looks different, feels different—and that is the most I can explain on a public forum ;-). I only know one thing. I’m going to go back some day.

~PD

6 Responses

  1. Kat says:

    *pounce!* England looks fantastic – well at least what I’ve seen so far.

    I don’t have much to comment because I’ve too many loads of questions to ask about the trip! Lol, you probably don’t need that when you’ve only just gotten back. 😛

  2. Marie says:

    psst! You’re using an old version of WordPress!

    And I’m hungry.

    But I’m glad you had fun!

  3. Payal says:

    Marie: Yeah, I know… *too lazy to upgrade* :mrgreen:
    By the way, you might be interested to know, it’s true, the term “good-looking Englishman” is an oxymoron. There are plenty of good-looking women, though…

  4. Alpana says:

    hey Payal, good you are back. There are a billion Indians in the world–most of them in the UK 🙂
    your trip sounds like fun. where are the pictures?!

  5. Marie says:

    HA! David Beckham. That is all I will say!

  6. Payal says:

    Pictures uploaded. Have to do the writing part now or they won’t make sense.

    *ignores David Beckham comment*

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