“All change please”

guildford castle silhouette

If you’ve ever ridden the London Underground to the end of a line – or maybe just to a junction- you’ll be familiar with  the booming, instructional voice-over phrase… “all change please, all change.” This is exactly how i’m feeling right now.

I’m aware that this is something of a crude analogy, as life- is in fact, not, a tube train. Yet somehow, it does feel like a pivotal moment in world events too, not just in my little bubble.

Uncertainty  and change can often bring us fear, apprehension, excitement, stress… all manner of emotions. Even changes we have planned can be daunting. For example… graduating University, which I plan to do in July, is currently all of these things to me.

I’m also feeling very grateful for everything the past three years studying at Surrey have brought into my life. Most significantly, the wonderful friends and memories who I plan to carry with me for the rest of my life. I’ve had a total blast and grown a lot, in many ways. I’m grateful for all of the opportunities (and fun) this place has afforded me, and I’ve grateful that i have gained an awareness of just how privileged I have been in life.

Right now, i’m sat surrounded by most of my worldly possessions, all bagged and packed up- and it’s kind of symbolic of my state of mind, too.

2 weeks ago, I had my last lectures at University and last Monday was my penultimate coursework deadline.

On Friday, (tomorrow) I’m heading home to my folks’, to spend some quality time with the family before I set off for Frankfurt (by coach this time, with all my luggage) on Sunday night. Wish me luck!

There are lots of petty little things I know i’m going to miss about living in the UK…

I know I’m going to miss…

  • The universal availability of a cup of tea –often pretty well made. and the cultural understanding that “Tea?” is the way one begins to solve most of life’s problems. This being said, I am a coffee person these days really… so that’s good.
  • Sunday Roasts– though i’m going to do my best to recreate them in Germany with limited supermarket range… i’m told there’s a British shop in Frankfurt… which I may just have to hunt down. (I’m off to the carvery with my two uni besties shortly to indulge in a proper roast. I cannot wait.)
  •  Proper British/Indian curry… on every corner  (you can get it in Germany but it is waaaay less common.)
  • Chippie’s- Fish and chips, contrary to stereotypes, are not the staple of the modern Brit’s diet. They do however, hold a very treasured place in the hearts of most… myself included. I love proper fish and chips, though only once in a while.
  • The NHS- judging by the rhetoric of the current UK General Election, it may not be around a great deal longer in its current incarnation anyway, but I sure as hell am going to miss being blessed with one of the greatest free-at-point-of-use healthcare services in the world.
  • Wagamama… and Nandos. Frankfurt has neither of these… a quick google tells me that my suspicions were correct and actually there are neither of these great “British” chain restaurants anywhere in Germany at present…
  • Chip & pin readers, everywhere- It may sound alien to some of you, but in Germany, unlike the UK, it’s not uncommon to find yourself stuck for payment methods if you’re without cash. Germany is still Europe’s most cash-heavy economy, in-spite of governmental efforts to change this. I love the convenience of knowing i can pay using my VISA without a second thought here anywhere, although using cash more can be useful too- It can be easier to keep tabs on your spending and can also help small independent businesses.

More than all of the material and cultural things though, I know i’m going to miss some very special people the most of all. But as I say- I’ll be home soon. 

I’m sure it won’t be long before I come up with some more things i’m missing about home…! I’ll keep you posted.

For now,

Ciao-

Han

One Reply to ““All change please””

  1. A nice reflection, and the Tube metaphor is apt. (My husband’s greatest souvenir of visiting London is a tendency to intone, “Mind the gap” at odd moments. That could be made philosophical, too. Hmm… Underground Philosophy…)

    Leaving home for college was full of cultural adjustments for me, and that was just between two very different regions of the US. I’ve remained in the NE, however, and there are silly annoyances that never quite get smoothed over in your soul.

    Butter comes in a different shape here. My favorite doughnut flavor is unknown on the East coast. Every time I travel home, I’m positively shocked by the difference between which television commercials are shown during the same programs…

    None of these even matter, but, after more than twenty years away from “Home”, they still niggle at my brain.

    Travel safely, and enjoy your adventures! 🙂

    Like

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