Wednesday, 9 May 2012

What I miss: the U.K.

Since I seem to perpetually be floating (very enjoyably!!) between one "home" place and another, I do genuinely find myself getting homesick even for places I don't come from. I experience this a lot with both areas of Japan I have lived in. I frequently miss the labyrinthine nature of Tokyo and the seamless way you slip between different facets of the same city just walking down the streets there and I certainly still feel frequently nostalgic for the everyday aspects my life up north in Hokkaido, particularly at those strange times of year when the seasons are slowly crossing over.

Cue Japan-o photo:

I'm sure that, when I head home for a couple of months over this summer, I will miss not only the friends and family I have connected with here, but this whole area which I have called my home for more than four months already - its cityscapes and way of life, its trees and awesome, surprising birds, and the way that I have been made to feel so very welcome here.

Cue Canada photos of awesome.....

But, a bit like the "Japan" version of this list, I wanted to compile a mundane, honest post of the small, strange things that we miss when we are away from places we have belonged. I'm sure that my "most missed U.K." list is probably both unique and tellingly bizarre but here goes!!

I miss BBC Radio Four. Despite the fact that I can now (wonderfully!) listen to it online, on request, at any time I see fit, it is different to the casual ease of turning on a 
real radio any time and anywhere.

I miss very silly things like Primark, Aladdin's cave-esque charity shops being everywhere, Cadbury chocolate (which tastes completely different in the U.K. to anywhere else in the world) and being able to buy free-range eggs without it being an unusual request, and a strangely big deal.

I also miss very nostalgic or memory-triggering sounds and smells which signify, more than anything else to me that I am "home" or at least in the "home" place where I grew up. Among these are the smell of rain in England, the sound of church bells change-ringing, the sound of people sitting outside a pub on a summer's evening, the colours of spring that I saw, each year, all the way through my childhood.

More than anything, of course, I miss friends and family who are not wherever I am. I am so glad that, as a traveller-type-person, I live in the era of wireless, skype and even facebook. I remember hearing and reading stories about young people travelling all around the world in the (recent) past and having such a tough time trying to even stay in loose touch with the mother ship.
As for me, I call my family every weekend, I email both them and my friends in the U.K., Japan and beyond very frequently and I don't even (THANK GODNESS!!) have a cell/mobile phone these days. The joys of the interweb. 

Also, you know what else I miss?


The U.K. pics:


  1. I drank strawberry Ribena this morning (in the rain). Just sayin' :)