The date of my leaving is approaching. When I eventually made the decission to return to Norway in October and just wanted to pack my bags and go, the wait felt like an eternity, but now that I only have 15 more days, I think they’re going too fast.
So I’ve decided to make a list of 10 things I love about the UK. They’re not in any particular order.
1. The diversity of cultures. I love how I can walk down the street in any fairly big British city or town and hear a different language at every street corner as well as having the choice of food and music from all over the world. Now I’d hate living in a place with only one culture and language!
2. Audiodescription. In case you don’t know what that is, it’s basically having the bits in a film or play where there’s no dialogue described to you through a pair of headphones, a technology enjoyed by blind or partially sighted people. I’d never seen this before I came here and needless to say I’m hooked for obvious reasons. They even have it on TV!
3. The pub culture. Going out to a pub almost anywhere in the UK, you can almost always be sure to end up making new acquaintences. People in pubs are often happy and talk and in pubs boys can talk to girls without necessarily having sex on their mind and vise versa.
4. Teatime. Ok, so most people nowadays don’t really do 5 o’clock tea in dainty China cups with rose patterns, but I have done it a couple of times in cafes and once even in Harrods. There’s something very soothing about the sound of cup against saucer. And even though I don’t really like scones, a small piece with jam tastes good in the right setting.
5. Dungeons and ghost stories. I’m sure most countries have some tradition of scary stories and cold dungeons, but every time I’ve been on some sort of ghost, or ancient life type of tour here, I’ve also been very impressed and the guides always managed to make me scream, something I don’t do easily.
6. Fudge. MMMMM. Just go in to one of those small sweetshops with homemade candy, ask for fudge, take a bite and get lost in the deilicious sweetness. The best fudge comes from Jersey, but I’ve had good fudge in London and Edinburgh too.
7. West End Musicals. In London you really can find all the classics and I never get enough of musical theatre.
8. Excellent crime, thrillers and detective TV series. Most people I know both in and outside Britain cannot resist a good British crime. Prime suspect anyone? Or is Inspector Morse your cup of tea? (Twinings of course) There are also a great number of brilliant authors too from those of older literature such as Shakespear and Dickens to present ones such as J K Rowling and Ian rankin.
9. London shopping. Everyone flocks to London for Christmas shopping and for a good reason. You can get almost everything here.
10. The parks. I love sitting down, or walking in one of UK’s many parks when the weather is good. Sometimes even feeding the ducks pigeons or having a picknick with good friends.
11 (I was only gonna do 10 and I won’t change the title) But I can’t not mention how much great music has come from here. The Beatles and Phil Collins to Tinie Tempah and Ms Bratt. The music reflect the cultural diversity.
Watch out for my next article about things I dislike about the UK.