Sunday, 18 April 2010

Now that April's there...

Oh, to be in England. At long last and now in even more chaos than normal, we are. It’s odd being back. Nothing has changed. Well, the kids on the street are taller than two years ago and the local pub has gone gastro but apart from that, really nothing has changed. We’ve been back for 2 days now and it honestly feels like we were never away. 

A few things though about England though that have really stood out for me over the last couple of days which I want to write down before they become normal.

There are a lot of cars on the roads. Really a lot of cars. Admittedly we didn’t drive much in Sarajevo which is more congested, but we aren’t in London either.

The cars here are all really new. Well obviously not all new, but they seem new, they look new. The Bosnians are masters at patching things together. There are quite a few cars on the roads that due to their age and mileage should probably have been sent to the old cars home a while back. But whilst cars cost so much in Bosnia, no one is going to let an old car wheel their zimmerframe towards a graceful retirement.

There is real racial diversity here. All sorts of accents, languages, colours. I like it. I’d forgotten how long it had been since I saw someone of Asian or African descent walking down the street.

The average Brit does not dress as well as the average Bosnian. By some way.

Supermarkets are enormous, frightening places. In the middle of Tesco Extra I did find myself wondering whether anyone would hear me scream. Still couldn’t find a medium sized pack of plain old cheddar.

Listening to the local radio station to hear about traffic jams on the Abingdon Road is not nearly as entertaining when you are actually on the Abingdon Road.

It doesn't take 2 seconds to get used to driving on the left again, but remembering that the speed signs are in Miles per hour and not Kilometers per hour takes a little longer. 

An English Sunday roast sitting in a field outside a countryside pub is one of the seven wonders of the world.
When the sun is shining there is nowhere in the world more glorious than the English countryside. 

25 comments:

planb said...

Even better to be sitting in a pub at lunchtime, with the sun and NO PLANES!

Very glad you got back safe and sound, and that you're enjoying it. xxx

London City Mum said...

Welcome home... still unsure when we will be home ourselves.

LCM x

Modern Dilemma said...

Glad you made it back OK. Great idea to record the things which seem "different/strange" because you're right, they will all seem so normal very soon.

My oh so observant reading tells me you are now living probably very close to us here in The Shire. Are you going to come along to our little May Meet Up? Let me know if you fancy it. Its 15 May in Reading. Be lovely if you could come Brits.

So finally, officially, Welcome Home!
MD xx

TheMadHouse said...

Welcome home. Hope your settling in period is wonderous and joyful

nappy valley girl said...

Glad you made it back before the Great Volcano Disaster, or Ash Thursday as I see the Mail are calling it.

Looking forward to hopefully meeting in the summer, if Iceland stops erupting....

Iota said...

Isn't that funny, that it feels like you've never been away, so soon.

Potty Mummy said...

Welcome home! (And I totally get it on the cars - when we last went home I couldn't get over how CLEAN they all look in the UK compared to Russia. They weren't, of course. Just not as dirty as I had become used to...)

Josie @Sleep is for the Weak said...

Welcome home! Let's hope we have a beautiful English summer filled with everything you have missed most waiting for you :)
x

notSupermum said...

Welcome back! It's funny how things like that stand out so much. When I was younger I lived in Germany for two years - and the differences were quite striking when I returned home.

Gappy said...

Just adding my voice to the chorus of welcome homes. Glad you're glad to be back.

Paradise Lost In Translation said...

Really u already feel like u have never been away? it's true the South East does seem frighteningly busy & congested whenever we go back. And fast paced & hectic. And yes, compared to Eastern Europe, Britain is amazingly racially diverse. Strangely the cars in ALbania, well, Tirana I shd say are way better thancars in anwhere but Kensington in the UK. Mostly stolen, mostly huge 4 wheel drives. It's one of those strange anomalies of living here yet not a yugo or lada to be seen....

Emily O said...

It's great the weather's turned good for your arrival home! Interesting to hear that Bosnians dress better than British people. But then most people probably dress better than British people. I don't think you're living too far from me now. This part of the country is definitely very busy. Our car is quite new, but filthy. I think we've washed it twice.

Tattie Weasle said...

What a glorious welcome home sunshine and no planes!

Laura Pike said...

Happy you're back!!
Would love to see you soon.... Lxx

Catharine Withenay said...

I agree about the pub - or a bright sunny morning in spring, when it is still cold but the air is clear, and there are bright yellow daffodils waving against a sea of green grass under budding trees.

(Obviously this thought is usually free from volcanic ash!)

Kelly said...

Welcome home, hope you are all settling back in well.

Metropolitan Mum said...

Wow, you are back! Welcome home!!!
And for the dress sense of the Brits: did you hear that they made #1 on the world's worst dressed nations?

Heather said...

Glad you're settling in well. I am so pleased you wrote these before you forgot them or got so used to them again. I am dreading the traffic when we come to visit in May. the traffic and the crowds are my 2 biggest fears - especially with two little people in tow

Troutie said...

Welcome home!

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

Plan B - it is nice! I'm enjoying it.

LCM - hope you make it back ok soon!

Modern Dilemma - Oo, 15th May, might be able to. Reading not so far at all. Depends on unpacking, work and whether we have the car imported...

MH - we are enjoying it very much

NVG - Ash Thursday. Terrible. Name the pub!

Iota - we have moved back into our old house, so it really is a bit of a time warp. And nothing has changed on the street. Nothing. Everyone still talking about the parking...

PM - it is weird about the cars. I'm still a bit bemused by it. And none of them are belching out black smoke either!

Josie - thanks! The weather is doing its best so far.

Not SuperMum - You can never pick what is going to really strike you when you get back.

Gappy - Thanks!

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

Paradise - really it does, but like I said to Iota, we are back in our old house so probably not too surprising.

Emily O - you're all joking, it's been this nice for the past 2 years! I think we are pretty close, we should try and get the small people together to cause chaos somewhere!

TW - It is nice! Loving it very much.

Laura - can't wait to see you too! We'll have to arrange a jaunt your way soon

CW - something so English about that thought. When England is lovely there is nowhere to beat it.

Kelly - thanks, we are loving it.

MM - no! but there have been a few outfits that no breathing Bosnian would deign to touch. I'm finding it really striking. But, I have to say that when the Brits get it right they do it so effortlessly it is lovely.

Heather - there are a lot of cars here. I'm still a bit fazed by the driving.

Troutie - Thanks!

Alice ~ writer, dreamer, traveller ~ said...

Gosh, I feel i have been away from blog-land for an age!!!! (boat connection only sometimes lets me get onto blogs - and it is a long and tiring process!) but I have real internet for a few days - woohhoooaaa!

How i love your observations on the UK :-) and I agree, when the sun is shining, the English countryside is, well... WOW. And my how I laughed about Supermarkets!!! When we were in Spain we shopped at one tiny supermarket (and that was a drive away and considered fairly big!) and we never went without. Sometimes I stand in Supermarkets here and think "What is all this stuff??????????!!!!!!"

Sadly, my car would fit better in Bosnia :-( but I kind of like that. It makes me feel rebellious!

Great that you're back :-)

Victoria said...

Yay! You finally made it back and to gorgeous spring weather. You are right, England in Spring is one of the finest places on earth. Glad also to hear that your little boy is settling in at school. I'd never thought about the blank piece of paper thing, but yes, I guess if you want a conformist, obedient population, you start with colouring in. I love reading your blog, you notice things.

ella said...

When I moved back from the States I remember the four things that really hit me: the traffic, how awful parallel parking was, how fantastic pubs were and how much I had missed the rolling countryside. If I ever have to leave again they would still be the same things I would miss/not miss.

Welcome back!

Babies who brunch said...

It's bonkers coming back from a stint somewhere else isn't it? I wish i could remember exactly what I found most bizarre when we moved back from Tbilisi. Suffice to say, pretty much everything. Especially the cars. The quantity and their age.

Post DC it was mainly how rude and unfriendly Brits are....

Hope you're settling back okay. x