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Dear Britain…

October 14, 2012

It’s been a week since we arrived back in Berlin and it’s taken me this long to find the energy to get in touch with you.

I’m not sure if reassimilation is getting harder, the longer I’m away from you or whether it’s to do with ageing. Not only am I getting older but so are the people around me. Ah, the passage of time!

So here I am and you know what, I have to let you know how I feel. You’re under my skin, you know and your blood courses through my veins but I feel further and further away from you, the longer I spend away. Could it be that’s because when I see you, I feel like you’re making a sick joke with your pathetic excuse for public transport and lack of child-friendly facilities?

I love you dearly: Your rolling green countryside, a patchwork that takes my breath away when in flight and that feeling of coming home when the Transpennine Express slows on the way into Durham station, showing off the castle and cathedral in all their grandeur. Your cuisine may not have much of a reputation in the rest of the world, (in fact I’ve found myself having heated debates in defence of that aspect of British culture) but to me, the lowly fish n chip shop could be a Michelin star restaurant, Chinese takeaway, the food of the Gods and curry, oh my…. !

Your ability to make smalltalk in the most awkward of situations, about the most random topics and words such as ‘love’, ‘chuck’, ‘duck’ and ‘hen’, thrown into sentences warm my homesick heart. You also keep safe some of the people I love most in the world.

But you know, despite your redeeming features, I feel I’ve changed (here we go, it’s the “It’s not you, it’s me” bit). A cultural shift has happened within me and as much as I miss you and those I love who are in you, I don’t feel I could come back to you in good conscience. So I shall stay away, admire you from afar and perhaps one day, the balance will tip and I will come back forever.

Until then, I shall remain a fleeting visitor, taking advantage of the parts of you I miss at regular intervals.

See you soon,


3 Comments leave one →
  1. October 14, 2012 20:57

    I know what you mean although can’t put it anywhere near so elegantly! Whenever I go back, there are definitely aspects I really miss but I quickly realise that I would soon get used to them and there is so much higher value to what I love about living here.

  2. October 14, 2012 23:51

    Well Lorna A. This one brought tears. You definitely hit a note.

  3. October 15, 2012 12:44

    Made me smile, and probably wince a bit. Being a foreigner in England for the last 8.5 years, Britain has endeared itself to me, though there are things that I am finding increasingly annoying. I still do not want to grow old here, but I am at a loss as to where to go from here. There are worse places 🙂 Ho hum, time will tell.

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