My England adventure has come to an end. Well… Actually it’s not really much of an end, an end is permanent. I’m still planning to go back sometime in the future. Still, I’m in the Netherlands now, so my time there has ended. Let’s just say that it ended in a cliffhanger. There’s going to a sequel planned to the adventure. England Adventure 2: Revenge of the Cornershop Chip Shop. Bigger adventures, better planning, soggier chips, and greasier piece-of-white-meat-that-might-have-been-fish-at-some-point await! Because you haven’t lived in England until you blame one sickness or another on a chippie.
It’s funny in a way, coming back. You’d think coming back to your home country after half a year is this mystifying experience where you see the old sights, but from a different point of view. That the faraway experiences make you see them in a different, more magical light. At least, that’s how it’s often described. Like your home area is now infused with the spirit of nostalgia and that every old sight intoxicates you with this overpowering sensation of awe…
It really doesn’t.
Oh yeah, it’s still there, cool I guess.
There’s this massive feeling of indifference towards all the familiar stuff. I expected it to be there, it still is. Okay.
Even funnier is that what I actually miss are those hills, trees and whatnot from back in Sheffield. I miss walking up and down hills. Seeing further than I’m used to from here. I miss how well you could see the stars on a clear night back there. You can see them here, but they don’t seem to shine just as brightly as they did back there.
Grass. Other side. Greenery. Shut up, I know about all of that. Although I never really felt the grass was greener in the Netherlands or in other cities that I visited while I was over there. The grass was just the right shade of green.
So, is there anything I’ve learned from this past half year? Quite a lot of things, and I’ll likely get into it in further detail in the future. For now, I think I’ll keep it to some of the simpler stuff I learned.
When you’re in a foreign country, and people ask you where you’re from, keep it as simple as possible.
It took a while before I learned this lesson. And no, The Hague in The Netherlands is not simple enough.
“Oh, isn’t that in Germany?”
“No, no it’s not.”
I’ve had this conversation more than once. Often enough I’d just get a confused look until I said: “You know, Holland.” That generally did the trick. Although it mostly did it with soccer fans
Tea. Motherfucking Tea.
In the Netherlands, most people I know drink tea weakly like it’s this form of water flavoring that needs sugar to have any sort of taste whatsoever. Not too different from how a lot of British people drink their coffee, come to think of it.
Dunk the teabag in three times, add a fuckton of sugar. Done.
I never liked tea, until I had it the way they drink it in England. Let that teabag soak up in there for a minute, get a good strong cup going. A little sugar, bit of milk. Heaven.
Almost as good as coffee. Almost.
It’s The Little Things.
Some of my favorite memories or things I’m most happy about doing in England really revolve around the tiniest of things.
That extremely torn copy of Jurassic Park, for example. Torn cover, loose pages everywhere, some of them partially torn, a few of them covered in dark red (imagination is screaming blood!) – although never to the point of making it unreadable.
Ayn Rand’s books being filed under Fantasy at the library.
A small barbershop called Mr. T’s. (Again, imagination is screaming at me how everyone leaves this place with a mohawk, even bald people.)
That Velociraptor Warning sign I put up in the kitchen.
It’s truly the little things in life that often make it worth while. And often enough, the little things are easy enough to create yourself.
Bacon. No, Wait, Let Me Rephrase That. BACON!
I never quite got the whole deal with bacon. Why is everyone going on about the stuff? What’s so good abou- oh, holy crap, this shit does taste good. I’m drooling. Can I have more?
I have converted to Baconism. I completely understand now, and I’m sorry for ever having doubted bacon.
Bad Movies Are Amazing
Even without the help of MST3K, bad movies are fun to watch and even better to make fun of. I can’t believe I never got into things like The Room, Cannibal the Musical, Yor: The Hunter from the Future before. These are some of the worst and best movies I’ve seen, simultenously.
Digital Distribution Might Be The Solution
After moving countries twice, the thought “Fucking hell, I hate physical crap and want to replace all of this for magical versions that don’t take any space and are easy to carry around.” popped up more than once. Maybe not in such precise words. Maybe not in such long sentences. Probably more like “Fuck, this shit is heavy.”
Still, With a cool e-reader type thing I’d be able to just bring my entire library of books with me without having to think space, weight, and how damn many of them there are. Plus you get that Starfleet officer feeling along with it. Or at least, I do whenever I’m holding one in a store before being escorted out for repeatedly telling store clerks to “make it so”.
This. Many times over.