Monday, 5 December 2016

A Trip to England: From Londoner to Tourist

"Does it feel funny being back?" my friend asked.

I had been away from England for nearly seven months. Arriving at Euston station after a wedding in Manchester I was blown away by the amount of people. It wasn't just the quantity that was mind-boggling but their speed. Like a flock of birds they changed direction, miraculously not knocking into each other.

When I lived in London I was like that. I sped everywhere, dodging in between everyone without stopping. But after so long away, I felt like a tourist, unsure of where I was or where I was supposed to be going. I stood in the wrong place, I stepped the wrong way, mirroring on comers instead of letting them pass.

How could I have lived here for so long? I wondered. It seemed so overwhelming and stressful. It took me a few days to recover my old pace.

The other big difference was the cold. It was 10 (50F) degrees at night when I left Mallorca. Arriving in Manchester the pilot said it was 0 (32F) outside. I thought I wasn't going to cope. I thought I was going to step outside and freeze mid walk. However I had come equipped and between my sheepskin lined boots and feather puffer jacket, I was surprisingly cosy.

Did I feel like a tourist?  I took photos of the frost and crunched back and forward through the ice like a little kid. The cold seemed like a novelty. I suppose it's fun when you know it's only temporary!

It was great to see friends and family after so much time. There was so much catching up to do. But when someone clinked my glass and said,  'Welcome home!' it seemed quite odd. Was it still home? It didn't feel like it. Not quite.  

I arrived back in Mallorca last night. I've already been for a driving lesson, chatted with my local grocer and called on my neighbours for help with a sticky door. It's 19 degrees (66F) outside. There's not many people about. I like it. I feel at ease. Safe.  It's been less than two years, but it already feels like home.   


No comments: