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Bye Bye UK

Now it is finally time to say goodbye. I have been waiting for this moment for a really long time and now that the moment is there, I am a bit sad as well! Yesterday, I had my last day in the office and it was a bloody emotional day! Saying goodbye has not always been my strongest characteristic…

To close this important chapter of my life, I thought I am going to compile a list of facts and figures to recap what happened in these 2 years, 798 days and 19,152 hours:

Figures

  • I lived 1 year in Reading and 1 year and 2 months in London
  • I had 2 break ups, 1 mutual and the other one… well, I don‘t want to get into that again so lets just keep it at 2 break ups
  • I fell in love 4 times (I am not going to tell you who the lucky guys are)
  • I used up 7 umbrellas (all broken by now), 2 survived
  • I had an uncountable amount of fire alarms, 1 real alarm and the others test ones. 1 day I had 2 fire alarms before 10am.
  • I past 1 Masters degree
  • I wrote 110 job applications in 2010 and more to come in 2011
  • I had 3 job interviews
  • I had 2 jobs
  • I moved 4 times (not including the last month when I moved practically every day…)
  • I met people from at least 26 different countries (UK, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Italy, France, Turkey, Portugal, Australia, Sweden, Poland, Venezuela, USA, Canada, Pakistan, India, New Zealand, Singapore, Iran, Thailand, Taiwan, China, Greece, Bahrain, Croatia, Denmark and probably a lot more that I cannot remember at the moment…)
  • I lived with 8 different people and shared kitchens with 15 different people
  • I got robbed once
  • I drove on the left side of the street 4 times
  • I had one 20 hours journey home (to get there I used 5 means of transportation and crossed 5 countries)
  • I had 15 overpriced Glühwein on the German Christmas Market in Hyde Park (4 Pound for a mug)
  • I experienced 1 football game Germany against UK in London
  • I started watching 22 TV Shows
  • I watched 10 seasons of Friends in 2 1/2 months
  • I bought approx. 70 DVDs and 50 books
  • I lived in the office for 5 weeks (not including sleeping there since that is not allowed)
  • In my last 5 weeks here I lived in 6 different places
  • I have survived the riots in London this year, called the police once to come to my house and lived 5 minutes away from a shooting.

Facts

Things I did not know about the UK before I came here

  • Brits like to dress with as less clothes as possible – no matter how the weather is like
  • They also dress the same way all year round
  • If there is the slightest bit of sun, England strips naked (I stole this from the title of a facebook group…)
  • Tights seem to be non existing even though they are still sold in shops (obviously because of all the tourists and foreigners because Brits don‘t seem to buy them)
  • Jackets and coats are overrated
  • The higher the high heel, the better (or not…)
  • British food is not as bad as I thought before. This does not include fast food and the typical british untoasted sandwiches with tuna paste and mayonnaise.
  • I will never learn that fries are called chips and I will never be able to pronounce the word crisps properly
  • Grocery shopping is always expensive and the quality of the food mostly bad and only good if you pay even more
  • British people are extremely scared of fires
  • Public transportation always includes a lot of money, a lot of signal failures and a lot of calmness in order to not freak out
  • There is nothing you can think of that does not exist in the UK – I even saw a bathroom with carpet
  • If there is just a minimal amount of snow, the whole country breaks down and nothing functions anymore…

What I learned

  • I learned how to play touch rugby
  • I learned not to get out the umbrella for a few rain drops
  • I learned to appreciate the medical system in Germany
  • I learned a few words of Urdu
  • I learned how to cook some Spanish dishes
  • I will never learn the rules of normal rugby
  • And finally: I learned that I cannot live in a house with single glassed windows! :-)

But what is most important and what I will miss the most of my life here in the UK are the people! People are always the ones making a place special. If you always meet horrible people you will never like a place no matter how nice the place itself might be. If there are great people, you can cope with a lot of shit around it (excuse my language here…)

I have to say, that the British people are amazing! They are friendly and nice and I always enjoyed being with them. Also all these people from all other cultures I met have been really really nice and I am so happy that I had the chance to meet all of them, to learn about their cultures and habits and to develop myself due to the experiences I made!

If it would not have been for the people, I would have left much earlier but now, the time has come and I really really can‘t live in London anymore. This city is killing me. I am happy that I can spend my last few days in Reading where I started my UK adventure 2 years and 2 months ago as a student of the University of Reading.

Thanks to all people I have met on the way, you have been fantastic and made me enjoy the time here so much! :-)

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