The End

June 17, 2007

Of our round-the-world trip at least.

Last sunset - and plane - of the trip (Montreal)

We’re back in the UK, though not back in London as our tenants have the house until next month (when we were supposed to be getting home).

After five very pleasant days in Toronto with Fran’s old chum Sara, and a day in groovy Montreal (where, as an aside, we did a terrible vox pop for Japanese TV about nuclear power. How random is that?), we got a BA night flight home. Even being back on BA was funny – after so long away from Britain, even the crew’s attitude seemed almost caricaturish. Are all Brits just caricatures of Brits? Or just BA crew? Not that that was a bad thing – they were great, especially compared to the unnerving inarticulacy of the crew on our previous, American Airlines, flight.

Touching down at Heathrow

The real shock of being back in Britain occured, inevitably, when we tried to do anything with public transport. National Express (like all the British Rail companies) are an embarassment, a national shame. Why oh why oh why can we not run public transport in this country? Compared to the marvel of Mexico’s ADOs, National Express is just poor, in terms of how they handle your booking (no seat allocation), how they handle your luggage (they don’t check it in, label its destination, or exactly load it themselves), and timing (we were half an hour late). Even the Heathrow bus station was crap compared to most of the coach stations we’d used in Mexico (right down the the announcer who kept giving the wrong information). Hi ho.

Anyways, so I don’t just moan on this blog, here’s a list of reasons why it’s Great to Be Back in Britain:

  1. I can speak the language.
  2. I can readily buy a decent newspaper in said language.
  3. I can (or will be able to) communicate (again, in said language) in the flesh with friends and family.
  4. Toilet cubicles doors actually fill the frame, unlike in much of North America where there’s a one inch gap all the way around.
  5. Texting friends and family is cheaper.
  6. I have the potential to both earn and spend money, rather than just the latter. (Although I will need to find work that doesn’t use breadcrumbs as currency.)
  7. I’ll be able to get stuck into some the many projects I’ve been ruminating over the past several months (and, hey, some of them might even give me some income).
  8. I will be able to eat more vegetables.
  9. I will be able to eat salad in restaurants without worrying quite so much about the microbial communities contained therein.
  10. Likewise most of the food, tap water, etc etc I’m faced with.
  11. I’ll be able to cook what I fancy (though, sheesh, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t going to miss all that eating out of all those amazing different national cuisines, especially as we can’t get, say, proper Mexican food in London).
  12. I’ll be able to get my bike back. Yay! (Er, though my knee is still buggered and might not be too happy about that.)
  13. I’ll be able to see a GP who, while looking in the other direction and rushing me out the door, might be able to recommend a knee specialist.
  14. I won’t have to lift a backpack weighing between 16kg and 25kg (35lb and 55lb) every few days. Or two at that weight, when I’ve tried to be a gent with Fran’s bag.
  15. I’ll be able to put more effort into not using the word “myriad” any more.
  16. Lots of other reasons I’ll add as they present themselves….

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