- Red double decker buses
Just because I think they are wonderful. Especially the old Routemasters.
- A reliable Oyster card (opposed to a not always properly working OV card in the Netherlands)
- The London transport system
Yes it can be a busy system (and yes sometimes they strike!) but I find it a great system and compared to public transport in Amsterdam – London is way ahead. And hey they have tube trains every few minutes – forget about that in Amsterdam.
- The enormous amount of cinemas and films on offer in London
The time of the year might have something to do with it but there hasn’t been much on lately has there?
- The London theatre
And just living around the corner from it. Plays with dream actors like Kevin Spacey, Ken Stott, Charles Dance, Derek Jacobi. And I wish I could say Bill Nighy, but blimey what does one need to do to get that man back on stage in London!
- The language
I love to hear the Brits talk. Good job I have a UK colleague at my current workplace so I won’t complete miss the British sense of humour and self deprication.
- Men in decent suits with great shoes
Yes men wear suits in Amsterdam too, but it is just not as classy. Far from in fact.
- People queueing properly for the tube or train
Oh and people with manners and being polite. My god – Dutch people are horrible when it comes to that. Lots of elbow and pushing work going on every single time I have to enter a train. And they don’t know how to behave on an escalator either.
- British television
Please give me back the BBC channels. And ITV, Channel 4 and even Five. I really miss quality tv. But I also miss Simon Cowell and the Xfactor! I really hope to solve that tv issue in the future. (I’ll buy a satellite dish if I need to)
- A cup of tea the milky way
I have not drunk a single one of those since my return. Somehow that is such a quintessential British thing that it feels wrong to do it in the Netherlands. And Dutch tea just doesn’t taste as good as Yorkshire tea.
You might think that I am missing London badly and regret having moved from there. But strangely enough, apart from the above list, and maybe a couple of other minor things, I haven’t missed London that much actually. There is no doubt in my mind that I have taken the right decision to move back to the Netherlands. Living close to my family again is really nice and life is just not as hectic (and therefor more healthy) as it was in London.
I am still on a quest to find a perfect place to live though. I am currently living in Haarlem (renting) where I have the unbelievable luxury of having my own kitchen, with own micro wave, cooker and fridge. And six (six!) whole kitchen cupboards for myself! I am still getting used to it, having lived in a shared household for more than four years.
So on that front, life is certainly improving. But Haarlem might not be the place where I am going to stay very long though. We’ll see what happens.
How are you all doing?
Oh, and here is a new (and this time decent as my mum filmed this) video of Gijs the Hedgehog. He is still a regular visitor in the garden!