Crisps, pasties and roast dinners
What am I looking forward to most on my return home?
After a year in Thailand I am soon returning home to visit my family and friends. In a few weeks I will be hopping on a flight and making my way firstly to London Heathrow and then the more difficult part of the journey - juggling the tube, trains and buses to make my way to lovely, lovely Cornwall.
On the grand scale of things, a visit after only one year away may seem a little soon, but considering I only intended to come out here for one school term and have now been here for two already, it's high time I made a visit home (also, I can retrieve all of the things that I would have brought out had I known my stay was going to be a bit longer - hellooooo stylish clothing, impractical shoes and jewellery!).
Despite only being away for a year (a mere hair on the chin of many hardcore TEFLers out here) there are SO MANY things that I can't wait to do, eat, see, smell, feel....
I can't wait to feel the comfort of my own bed! As much as I am sure the rock hard mattresses out here are good for your back, comfortable they are not.
On the topic of beds - bedding. 100% cotton!!! I've spent too many sweaty nights wrapped in polyester. And being able to wrap myself in said bedding and appreciate the warmth.
I may live close to the coast in Hat Yai but nothing can match the salty sea air that my hometown has on offer.
Also, generally NOT having to smell things like rubbish dumps, sewerage, fish sauce and often stinky food.
My family! I'm not a very soppy person but I do have a pretty close family. I didn't really realise that until I came out here and spoke to other people on the topic. It's not that I have been homesick at any time but it will be so nice to see my family, especially my Mum because she's one of my best friends really. (Now THAT was super soppy for me - I hope she sees that!)
My friends! Of course I have made friends since being here but those friendships are relatively brand new in comparison to my friends from home. I have weddings, engagements, break ups, new boyfriends and even babies to catch up on!
Is it really bad that something else I'm looking forward to seeing is a bit of crappy TV? We don't have a TV here and other than the dramatic series that we download, I don't get to watch anything that doesn't require any thought!
Food. Oh, the food! Don't get me wrong, I love the food here. It's flavourful, diverse, spicy, interesting... but sometimes I just don't want to eat Thai food! Here is just a taste of the things I can't wait to eat:
· Pasties. Being a Cornish maid I am having massive cravings for a good steak pasty. I can't write any more right now because I may drown the room with my saliva.
· Roast dinners. Cooked by my Mum, obviously. A roast with ALL the trimmings. Yorkshire puds. Stuffing. Veg veg veg. MEAT. Gravy.
· Cheese and onion crisps. We can't get them here!
· Bread that tastes savoury. Unsweetened bread that is bigger than a coaster. Please.
· Not strictly eating but I can't wait to have a proper cup of tea with normal milk in a big mug. With NO SUGAR and NO CONDENSED MILK.
· All manner of things baked in an oven. Living in a relatively oven-free country is a killer sometimes.
I want to go out on a night out with music that I really want to dance to, drinking something other than Thai whiskey.
I want to go for a walk along the beach in a wooly jumper and hat.
I want to cook and bake all the things I can't make out here.
I want to have a cup of tea and a gossip.
There are loads of mundane things I want to do but I won't bore you with them... you get the picture - normal everyday home things!
BUT, it's not all peachy on a visit home.
I'm going to have to pay more than 20p for a coffee and more than 1 GBP for my lunch!
In fact, everything is going to be SO EXPENSIVE!
It's going to be COLD. And more than likely damp.
Life won't seem as free and easy with the rules and regulations of the UK.
My day to day life won't seem rich with culture and experience - it will just be like day to day life.
At least I come from Cornwall, where people do say hello to strangers on the street and smile just as much as they do in Thailand - but I can imagine my trip across London and then down to Cornwall won't be as smile filled as it would be in Thailand.
Not eating rice is going to make me feel like I haven't eaten.
With the lack of sunshine I won't be getting my daily dose of vitamin D and my tan is going to fade the second I step off the plane.
Things just generally won't be as sabai sabai as they are out here - what do you mean I won't have a hammock in the UK?
It's strange to think that after only a year I can have such a long list of things that I miss, things that I yearn for and crave on a daily basis. I'm sure after a few days back in the UK I will have a list just as long of things I miss about Thailand. At least I'm only going back for a few weeks!
For more of my reflections on life in Thailand visit my personal blog.
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Nice list of reasons to go home once in a while.
Given the choice of romantic Cornwall and amazing Thailand I'd opt for the latter most days. The choice will come down to work options sooner or later in which case the UK or other destinations may offer more scope.
By William, Australia (11th September 2013)