Returning A Foreigner

I’ve been back in the UK for 3 days now, currently taking the train from Newark to Newcastle… to return to my village.

My cousin picked me up at Gatwick airport and we drove north to Lincoln immediately.

My first flight was delayed due to weather conditions, my connecting flight was only a couple of hours later… I was worried I’d miss it – but refused to panic until ‘further notice’. Luckily, a lot of the passengers were also connecting and our second flight waited for us. Very nice of them.

Funnily enough, I was sat next to a pilot, he was getting to Toronto to fly another plane leaving same time as mine (obviously his flight had to wait for him too – they kind of need him). He was very chatty and I had a list of questions regarding his profession – I admire pilots but at the same time I think they’re crazy – defying death every single day. Quite soon he was put into first class and I was left alone. Which was pretty nice, in fact, both flights were empty so I had all 3 seats to myself. Much better. One can fart without too much worry of offending.

I was able to sleep lying down. On waking up I felt sick, nausea really extreme, I even looked for the sick bags a couple of times, this feeling did not leave me until I arrived in Lincoln 8 hours later.

In a nail salon.

As it was the day before my cousin’s wedding, she had booked us into a nail salon (a lovely surprise).

I had to excuse myself to buy food, something, anything! I had not eaten in 24 hours as couldn’t eat the airplane grub (stupid gluten free living) so I grabbed a bag of crisps and was happy to order crisps not chips for once!! I was all surprised to see £ signs and 85p signs, I’d forgotten about the pence!!

It was so nice to hear British accents again. I never noticed how varied they are.

I felt like a foreigner in my own ‘homeland’ – noticing shit like a tourist would.

It’s funny, the train food cart keeps going passed me and I’m thoroughly enjoying the humongous YORKSHIRE TEA advert. Right on England.

After the nails were done we popped into a shop (not store) quickly where I managed to spill my crisps, giggle, and slunk out. Wups.

Twice, I tried to get into the drivers side to looks of confusion from my cousin. I’ve been doing the same in Canada too recently, must have had Britain on the Brain.

When I tried to buy food at M&S the machine wouldn’t accept my coins from my coin ziploc bag and I was told my money was too old. Too old??!! I felt like I’d been away forever.

In the evening, at another shop, I couldn’t figure out the bloody machine to pay for something and the directions due to forgetting certain vocabulary. I should mention the lack of sleep must have also been a factor.

A lady had to explain to me (twice) how to use the machine. Pffft.

And the smell when I first walked into a pub, you know that smell of old alcohol spilled on the bar mats… mmmmmm… it had been a while…

For the first time, I appreciated the architecture of the train station. And the ‘oldness’ of it all.. compared to Canada. Towns in northern England are so quaint, they have a rustic charm, a hard-working history, of mining and industrial revolutions.

The wedding was great. It was so nice to see people you care greatly about be so happy and just as nice to be able to celebrate it! It was the friendliest wedding I’ve ever been to/will probably ever experience. I managed not to cry when I had to give my reading, ‘How falling in Love is like owning a dog’ I stumbled a little on some words as I held back tears towards the end. And my nose kept running so I looked like I had a coke addiction but other than that all went well.

I’m looking forward to going home, if only for one day before I travel onwards to visit a wonderful friend in Spain. I’m looking forward to sleeping. And Eating.

And seeing the house, I’m always interested to see how I’ll feel when I’m there. It’ll be empty. I often worry I’ll feel sad or lonely, yet, so far I’ve always felt comfortable and safe. I guess it’s old familiar feelings of ‘home’ that just come back naturally. Very good.

I’ve seen sheep. And land rovers. Wonderful. Two of the things that feel very British to me. And small country roads – oh that’ll be fun, driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the road – Godspeed :/

So yes, I do feel like a foreigner on my own land, I’m sure anyone who’s lived abroad has felt like this at some point. And I suppose it’s natural. I guess I feel like a foreigner everywhere I go, I think it’s also connected to having a dual nationality? I should look into that.

It’s also probably why leaving is easier for me than others and I guess that’s good for a traveler but also, a lack of ‘belonging’ anywhere comes into it.

Having said that, I am enjoying being back and it’s fun witnessing British life kind of like a tourist. I can’t wait to go to Marks and Spencer for a good old food shop. And drive passed fields of sheep on the way 🙂

Maybe I’ll park next to a Land Rover covered in mud.

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