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])
– 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.