Guess who has returned, life and sanity (possibly) intact? Yep! That would be me.
I’ve learned quite a bit – how to survive beneath a boiling sun (lots of water, suncream and shade hopping), catch a foreign bus and a host of other Very Important Things.
Oh, do you want to know how to catch a bus? Let me aid you in this by telling you what not to do.
How To Catch A Bus:
Don’t be polite and wait for the man to clamber down the steps and dismount from the front of the bus.
Don’t stare at the doors as they shut.
Don’t proceed to the middle doors and be extremely puzzled when these close too.
Don’t be astonished when the bus moves off, the last set of doors closing whilst it does so.
Don’t stare in bemused incredibility as you realise that there are people sitting in the bus and you aren’t one of them.
Do listen to the man speaking beside you. Do learn his language before you listen. He’s saying important things – [rough, paraphrased translation, minus hand waving] – “Get in the back of the bus, you dim-witted loon.”
I’ve walked castle walls, roasted my skin, climbed steps (steps are wonderful things in small, manageable doses. A thousand or so in one go is not a small, manageable dose), eaten strange food, made friends and swum in clear waters.
And now I’ve returned home. And home, my dear friends, is a beautiful, beautiful thing.
England may not always have the most blue skies, its weather may not often reach the thirties (for this I am fervently thankful), it may not have clear seas or terribly exotic fauna.
But it is green, I consider it pleasant and it is the land I call home.