The following is a guest post.
Because I miss England and my people, my heart is bleeding and my soul is hurting. I am not completely myself… for I’m not really home anymore.
20 Things I Miss Most About England
1. Language and Accents
Shakespeare’s language sounds just so nice to my ears and flows like a delicate river; I simply can’t live without this language. I miss speaking English all day long and living my entire life in English. I miss dreaming in English. And I miss the British accent(s). In short, I miss every aspect of my English-speaking life.
French is just not so fun, well, probably because it’s my mother tongue and therefore has no exotic aspect!
Of course, I do miss tea! How could I not? England is the home of tea and only there can you find proper and delicious varieties of teas. Teatime is one of the things I miss the most – it’s a wonderful tradition.
3. English food: The Weird and Wonderful
First of all, only in England can you find proper bacon – I don’t usually eat meat but when it’s British bacon, I make an exception. Also, only in England can you find real lemon jelly and orange jam. British people also have junk food but not like the awful American type of junk food; they have delicious and very tasty things, such as the wonderfully yummy frozen raspberry crumble.
I admit it’s been quite a big change when all you’ve always known is the very refined French cuisine, but I LOVED it – it felt like breaking away from conventions! I loved eating a bit differently and then realising that some food doesn’t have to be homemade to be very yummy. Furthermore, British people are so clever when it comes to food. Look at their milk-categorising system, which I think makes so much sense and is so helpful, or their habit to put how many calories everything you buy contains, which is a great help when you’re desperately trying to watch your weight.
I absolutely had to devote an entire point to the Cadbury Daily Milk and Nestlé Aero – Feel the Bubbles chocolates! They’re my favourite and as a chocolate lover, life gets a bit sad sometimes when I can’t surround myself with real good chocolate!
Boots is amazing – you don’t have to go to thousands of shops to do all your shopping! The pharmacy, the grocery – it’s all in one! How fantastic and life simplifying! I also miss Tesco and Sainsbury and their fantastic meal deals – such a brilliant idea I think!
6. Having a Sherry or a Bailey’s
I had never tasted those two before and I must say that they’re maybe dangerously too delicious for alcohols, but never mind, a Sherry and Bailey’s are always synonyms for happy times (just like beer actually.) I liked to enjoy them while watching telly.
7. British Sitcoms (especially Miranda)
‘Such fun’ are Miranda’s mother’s favourite words! Just brilliant! This show simply is the most hilarious thing I’ve ever watched on TV, and it’s not very surprising when you know the extremely good sense of humour of British people!
8. The BBC
The BBC is such a good channel and their website is gold! I’m not kidding – I seriously don’t know how I’d do most of my research for uni if there weren’t www.bbc.co.uk
I don’t know, after all, trains are trains but every time I took the train in England it felt like I was going on the biggest adventure of my life. It was such a great feeling – a call for freedom!
Of course I do and who wouldn’t? When I say I miss London, I’m not only saying that I miss the city. I miss my home, I miss the place where I belong, I miss the place where my heart is. I especially miss Covent Garden and Hyde Park, my two favourite places to be.
But I also miss Soho, the theatre land, I miss the joyful and colourful houses of Notting Hill, the majestic Buckingham Palace and my fetish walk along the South Bank. I miss the so typical London multiculturalism, the fact that no matter where you are in the city, there are at least 5 or 6 different nationalities represented. Finally, I miss the free access to museums and of course, the fantastic, wonderful, breath-taking New Year’s Eve’s fireworks. How stunning!
11. The Tube
Once again, I absolutely need to dedicate an entire point to the London Underground (or the Tube), for it is the greatest metro ever! I mean it’s so clean and easy and the staff are helpful if you’re a bit lost and don’t know where you’re supposed to go anymore. If it wasn’t that expensive, I might take it for pleasure! :p
12. Taxi drivers
French (and especially Parisian) taxi drivers are so rude and grumpy all the time; I think it’s nice and very much appreciated when you’re not treated like crap because, yes, you’re a foreigner and you might not have a very good accent and understand everything you’re told, and yes, you probably have no idea of where you’re supposed to go and how everything works in the city. London taxi drivers, but people in general, are immediately so friendly and make you feel home.
13. The Theatre
That’s probably what I miss the most about London, my musical marathons and coming back from a show with stars in my eyes!
14. British idioms and British sayings
I think my favourite two idioms are “Bob’s your uncle“ (which basically means ‘… and there you go’) and “It’s brass monkeys outside“ (which means ‘it’s bloody cold outside’.) I think they’re so brilliant; even the worst and saddest things appear in a funny way to British people! Some of these words can have a different meaning in American English as well. The word telly, which means television in in Britain, actually has no meaning in American English, and the word jumper (which Americans call a sweater) in American English means as a sleeveless, collarless dress worn over a blouse. (In Britain, they are called a pinafore or pinafore dress. See image here. – Melissa)
It’s surely not in France that people will call you honey, angel or sweetheart when you’re doing your shopping or checking in at a hotel.
16. The People (and my friends)
I simply miss how they always seem to be ready to help you, support you and comfort you. That’s very reassuring and it feels like they’re all family. Oh yes, and I miss my friends. Never before had I met people, who made me feel like I could be myself and just myself. Never before had I found friends like them. (I miss you guys, and I can’t wait to see you all very soon again!)
17. British politeness
I miss them saying they’re sorry when it’s not their fault. I actually do that too now!
18. Stiff Upper Lip
They get on with things, no matter what happens and in despite of their awful weather.
19. The Differences
Roads, people, money, plugs, telephone boxes, driving on the left side of the road, the list could go on.
20. The other half of my heart
That’s probably the most painful thing to miss… when your heart has fallen for another one there, in this beautiful land of Albion (and what greater place is there for Britophiles to see their heart fall for someone else’s?) Missing this other part of your heart makes you love it even more and… the pain gets greater and greater when the only thing you truly wish for is to share every single experience with the other person.
Marie Dubreuil is a 20 something wandering soul and student, whose heart was left in London. She’s a writer and tea lover in love with the culture of the English-speaking world. On her personal blog (onmywaybymarie.com), she writes the words of her journey, which, she hopes, will become a beautiful poem someday.Find her on Twitter @DubreuilMarie and follow her on Facebook