Back in August I was feeling a little homesick and wrote a list of the five things I was missing most about England. Now I’m back and feeling a little travel sick. Seeing England again with fresh eyes has made me consider the things I enjoyed about being in a different society.
I didn’t watch television for nine months and so it seems really weird to see people spending four or five hours a day glued to the screen. Often not particularly watching anything but it just being on as if there is a fear of silence within the house. Of course there are some pretty good shows on TV in the UK and the BBC is a world leader but as soon as the good show ends the TV should be switched off. Instead it is left to continue to the next and the next show. The amount of sitting down that happens is really quite worrying.
This is most probably one of the main reasons for excessive television use. Since I’ve been back I have seen the sun about three times. Most days are a consistent grey with drizzly rain falling for hours at a time. It’s a far cry from the flash storms of Asia and their exciting energy and feels more like someone slowly plodding along. This always results in coming back inside feeling damp and cold. My jeans are always too long and so the bottoms are always wet. You look out the window and have no desire to leave the house. This also results in people driving somewhere that would only be a five or ten minute walk, thus putting more weight on.
There is a definite arrogance to the general British public believing we are all part of something very special. By all means England has exported a huge amount of culture which is quite exceptional for the size of us. But we are still a small island and our current system is quite hugely flawed on a large scale as we hide in the shadow of American politics with a poor education system and huge amounts of unemployed. The arrogance we have isn’t really deserved as most of what is good about England stems from four or five hundred years ago and the reality of our country now is level with about 40 other countries in the world.
The Cost of Living
Everything is expensive here which makes you even more inclined to not go out or do anything. A restaurant will be at least £10 per person, for me to get the bus to town it costs £3, public transport is expensive yet unreliable. People just spend spend spend and never consider the cost of what they’re buying. Food in a supermarket costs far too much, especially fresh fruit and veg and it is always of poor quality as it has normally been halfway across the world before it reached our shelves. the cheapest you will get a guest house for is about £40 for a double room, though you can pay up to £90 for something of a similar quality.
The weather plays into this and the long hours of work. People get home, everywhere is dull and they want nothing more than to curl op on the sofa. There is little chance anyone is going to get up and cook a nice tasty meal. And so the option of choice is to open a box from the freezer and stick it in the microwave. Wait three minutes, just enough time to make a cup of tea, and with the ‘bing’ load a non-descript tasting block of processed substance into your mouth. There is no enjoyment, no passion. Just sitting and existing, but not really living.
It’s very hard to get motivated and excited being here while everyone is staring at a box and sitting on their bums eating something that about as good quality as cat food. There is a large lack of passion and excitement and that is really demoralising on a daily basis.