Au revoir, England…
I was expecting a tidal wave of tears, emotions wreaking a havoc and feelings running haywire!!!
Time has come to move on…well, most of our friends moved on. Some remain. Some, well, they don’t really know.
Since the day we decided to move, I started a list of things that I would miss and things that I wouldn’t!
Cambridge stuff I will miss…
The little canal that they call the river, the cows, the punts, the colleges, the pubs I used to go to, the flat cycling roads, the posh dinners, the colleges (mostly envy here coz I never had the pleasure of becoming a fellow of a college!), the local cinema, the restaurants, the markets, the Indian shop (yes, so?), the parks, the cows (did I already say that?), the beer festival, the beers, the hippies, the international students who innocently spend their parent’s money on fashion outfits, the beggars, the beggars’ dogs, the funny big issue sellers, the Church (for its architecture), the department, the friends in the department, the lab, the lab stuff, my desk (it had a window with a view), my nespresso coffees in the morning, my nespresso coffees after lunch, my tea, my favourite mug, my big screen, my very cool switch button, my desk, my cricket team, my drinking with the cricket team, my cycle rides with Ludo and John, their Lycra, my Lycra, past friends, the drinking escapades, the strawberry fair, the midsummer fair,the swimming pool, mill road, the flat, my previous flat, beche road house, the canteen at work, the dinner ladies, the cakes, the soups, the receptionists, the banter at lunch, the banter at coffee, the banter at tea, the occasional sunshine, the occasional heat wave, the departmental bbqs, bbqs, trips to the local outdoor paddling pool, the cows (yes, I can’t get enough of them), the juice shop near the grafton, the grafton centre, the Burger King in the grafton centre, the coffee shop in the grafton centre, the riverside park, the riverside walks, the bowling place, the ‘all-you-can eat’ Indian buffet, the ‘all-you-can-eat’ Chinese buffet, the cycle shop, the fruit and veg market shop, the kitchen shop on market square, Cambridge wine merchants, the wine tastings at Cambridge wine merchants, the street performers, the artists, the Shakespeare festival, the Shakespeare plays performed on the lawns of the colleges where you are not allowed to walk, the night clubs, the house parties, the house warming parties, the upside down tree in the neighbour’s garden, my downstairs postman neighbour, his consumption of Mary-Jane and the sweet smell of Mary-Jane.
Cambridge stuff I will not miss…
The chavs, that weird guy who wanted to be me (remember him? Check my previous logs), the coffee in the canteen, the tea in the canteen, awful weather, the cold mornings, the puke on the cycle bridge, the bulldog toting nationalists, the mill road foreigners, their place of worship, their stink, the broken glass on parker’s pieces, the fights outside the pub in town, the smelly and overflowing toilets in the pubs in town, the people who sell the punting tickets, the rugby assholes, the cow pat, the stepping on the cow pat, the teenage-pregnant-smoking mums, the awful buses and their equally awful drivers, the rude cyclists, the rude 4×4 drivers (mostly, as it happens, mums!), posh people who make you feel inferior to them by putting on an accent that sounds like they do a pee-pee by sitting down on the WC, the exuberant homosexuals, the rotund girls outside the pastry shop, the ugly dogs of the rotund girls outside the pastry shop, their tattoos, the obnoxious smell outside the grafton centre, the pound shop, the people in the pound shop, the soggy fish and chips, the snooker place, the carpets in our flat, the mold in the bloody bathroom of every fucking place I ever lived in, the noisy and nosy neighbours, the witchcraft practicing psycho-bitch next door, the neighbours opposite us who never said hello in the past two and a half years.
Of course, I will also miss a lot of other things from my previous expeditions in Bristol, Dundee and London! I will not miss a lot of other things. Maybe I am set in my ways, maybe the grump is overshadowing the happiness! Maybe. But over the years, I have become, well, sort of English. In fact, I am more English than some of my English friends (in their own words). I thought they were making fun of me but I didn’t say anything (stiff upper lip and all that)!
***Warning: Serious, philosophical and mature part coming up!***
“The grass is always greener on the other side”, said a friend. We decided to move not because the grass is greener on the other side. We decided to move to have a better life for the little girl. Of course, no one will be able to predict the future, even if you could the chances are that you’ll be wrong. Majority of the people get comfortable (with their mundane routines) when they reach a certain age. Not me. I need a new challenge. I need a new lifestyle. I need the unpredictability that, some 18 years ago, transformed my life. I am in no doubt that the new adventure will be a memorable one (one way or the other). I am sure I will or will not regret this decision. Hey, if you don’t have any regrets in life, that means you’ve had a boring life!
***End of the serious, philosophical and mature part***
‘So my friends, it is with a full heart of love that I leave this country. It is with fond memories that I leave this country. It is with full of anticipation I am moving to another country. For better or for worse…’, were my last thoughts at Heathrow airport an hour before my flight. I ditched the bottle of water before passing the security. I took a deep breath and looked around, for one last time…
After 18 long years, I said goodbye to my adopted homeland: England!
After 18 long years, I am on a new adventure in a new place: France!
Que sera sera…who knows where I’ll end up next?
Where will we end up next?
Part VIII: Right side driving, red wine, roller skates and right royal bureaucracy….