1st impressions of England: coming back to visit

image I’m back for a visit, after having been away for a year. What were my returning first impressions? This has been a popular question. 

Obviously – meeting my twin nieces was the highlight. They were born last November, and this is the first time I have met them. High on my list of essential things to do, visit my sister.

imageI also surprised my nephew by turning up at his school at the end of the day, his reaction was priceless! He was so flabbergasted and confused I felt compelled to explain to the other people who were also in the school reception area at the time! But, when I asked him for a photo, here is what I got!

The driving was the biggest tell tale contrast. I had to drive from Heathrow to my friend’s house, then onwards up towards Lancashire to visit my Dad.

Main things I noticed: 

  • So so much more traffic (expected) means that the thinking level is way higher when driving and more intense. I felt overwhelmed and startled at times! Cars at all sides, cars darting in and out, traffic jams!
  • The unconsciously developed driving default speed of 100kmph simply will NOT work on a motorway. Plus, the differing speed restrictions for each vehicle type means you get stuck behind lorries a lot!
  • Driving long distances in England is dull. There is nothing to look at. Even the countryside is dull. What little there is, because there isn’t any vast expanses of openness at all. Well, of course it would be when you have come from Southern New Zealand! Either that or the countryside is not visible because huge banks either side of the motorway block your view! Mind you, you have so much thinking to do there’s no time for looking anyway!
  • Some things are cheaper than I expected. I mean, a lunch for £5? I couldn’t get a lunch out for $10 in Invercargill.
  • Shops feel really big! And so much choice!
  • Internet is way faster in England. You forget if you aren’t careful, how SLOW it is in New Zealand.

I’m sure my list will get longer…!