Reading how I missed thee
I thought I would make it official that Daniel and I arrived safely back in the UK. We are currently ensconced in a couple of self-catered rooms in the same Bridges Hall in which we lived at the end of last year, a time which feels like ages ago. The room is unsurprisingly similar to other room that I had while I was here, only for the distinct lack of a sink. The sink I do miss – as someone who spends 20+ minutes shaving, it is nice to be able to do this in the comfort of your own room.
There are other subtle changes to the Hall, some of which are positive and other negative, but I guess that is how things usually work. Obviously one of the big differences is that most of the friends we made while here in the fall are now gone. Some may be back, but some are not going to be returning to Reading. Considering that I am only here for the next two months and a bit, that doesn’t much matter to me. But nonetheless this is a difference that isn’t immediately obvious but it does affect my mood towards the place. In general though, I like the ability to read and understand all the signs and be understood by those people I need to interact with. It is a bit of a comforting and unusual experience after 6+ months in foreign language countries. However, the British culture isn’t really all that it is cracked up to be (or maybe it isn’t cracked up at all), but I didn’t miss the excessive drinking and general “hooliganism” that one can expect in towns and cities in the UK. Luckily it won’t be so bad in the summer months on campus, but it still exists. After spending a few months in Spain, it seems there is something wholly unfriendly about the British population – even if I can understand them, it seems as though something is missing.
But the food is one thing that is better here. At least from my point of view I can now get meat and eggs for breakfast. Not only that but I am now in a position where I can walk to a convenience store or to a number of fast-food, Turkish, Indian and Chinese restaurants. I went to Istanbul Grill my first night here with Daniel and incinerated my mouth with the muy picante Shish Kebab. Last night a number of other students that I hadn’t seen in a while were going to an Indian restaurant with a buffet, so I joined them. It was good food at a relatively decent price – and I hadn’t had Indian food since I was last in the UK.
Long story short, I’m in the UK, all is well. Cheerio.