Things I will Miss About England 31


During the past couple of weeks I have been making an extra effort to enjoy the things I love most about life in England. I also keep finding myself thinking ‘wow, this is probably the last time I will *insert situation* for a very long time’. Day-to-day things like Sainsburies and travelling on the London underground.

After some pondering, here are the things I will miss about England.

1. Family and friends

Where would we all be without them? Saying goodbye to my friends has been so hard and I cannot imagine how it will feel to say goodbye to my family at the airport on Friday. I am eternally grateful to them for being so supportive of my move to India. Luckily the internet means the distance between us shrinks through Skype calls and emails but it is not the same as meeting up at a coffee shop or walking down a street together.

2. The sound of the traffic

…or lack of. Every now and again in England you will hear a ridiculously loud car revving its way down the road but that is nothing compared to the sound of traffic in India. I would not be surprised if I have heard more horns in India during ten minutes than I have in England over the past ten years. Being someone who had never experienced such a thing before at first I liked the fun and exciting atmosphere it brought to driving, after a while it was not as exciting. Also, that constant cacophony of horns makes it harder to have a nap.

3. Tea bags

Is this too stereotypical? It might well be but it is definitely something I will miss. I really love Indian chai but nothing beats a good cup of English breakfast tea, made with a tea bag in a large mug. I am considering packing some PG tips and taking them to India with me.

4. My bed

I am not a great fan of the Indian bed. My bed in England is squishy and soft with a thick duvet and fluffy pillows. In India the beds that I have sampled are pretty solid. I am sure it is probably better for your back to sleep on a solid bed, but I will definitely miss my squishy bed nevertheless.

5. Public toilets

Within ten minutes of arriving in India on my summer trip, I was faced with an Indian toilet. I stared at that hole in ground for a good couple of minutes before concluding I didn’t have enough courage to attempt it. After spending five weeks in India still don’t have the technical skills needed to use an Indian toilet (I cannot describe the relief I felt when I saw the western style toilet in my husbands house- the only toilet I used for my whole stay). Living in India means that is it highly probable I will have to one day face the Indian toilet again. When I do have to use the Indian toilet, I intend to be prepared (after doing some homework).

6. Being invisible

When I ride on the back of my husbands motorbike in India, the other riders look twice if they see me and people in cars nudge the other passengers and point. It is quite uncomfortable to be stared at a lot. I don’t yet know how I will feel about this long term, I will just have to wait and see. It has become normal for me to be invisible in England, people tend walk around in their own bubble and it is rare to have eye contact or share a smile with a stranger passing by.

7. Knowing what is going on

I know very few Hindi or Marathi words and so whilst in India I rarely have any idea of what is going on around me. Are those people in the street arguing or agreeing? I have no idea..

8. Roast dinners

I have been asked several times ‘will you not miss beef in India?’, but luckily I am vegetarian (for the past five years) and so this will definitely not be a problem. I will miss a good roast potato though, crispy on the outside and fluffy in the middle. I will also miss homemade cake, a nice slice with jam, buttercream and a cup of tea. Bliss.

Indian cuisine has little use for ovens. I really wanted to cook my husband and in-laws an English Sunday lunch roast but couldn’t because of this lack of an oven. Whilst thinking of something to cook my Indian family I soon realised how much of the food we cook in England requires an oven. In the end I cooked a pasta dish for them (Italian, so technically not even English). My husband said, being the lovely husband he is, he would buy a small oven for me. So maybe my relationship with roasted foods will not completely end, but until we get this oven I will dearly miss those roasted potatoes.

9. The seaside

Nagpur is the centre point of India and so it could not be further from the sea whereas Britain is the tiny island where you are never too far away from the beach. The sand castles, donkey rides, ice cream, piers, paddles and puppet shows.

As a child the beach meant an exciting day trip and as an adult I found so much comfort staring out to sea. There is something so calming about the salty sea air. I lived next to the sea for four years whilst studying and I will miss it being able to go to the coast whenever I want to.

10. Eastenders

To anyone who is not familiar, Eastenders is a soap opera set in East London. Most of the time it is completely ridiculous and beyond outrageous but I love it. I have heard a lot about these Indian soap operas, it will be sometime until I can actually understand them but I guess until then imagine the story to match the pictures.

So for the next 3 days I will enjoy Christmas with my family and savour the small things before flying to India. A couple of months down the line it will be really interesting to think about what I still miss, what I no longer miss and the things I am glad I got away from!


About Lauren Mokasdar

Lauren fell in love on the internet, took a one way flight from England, got married & started a new life & bicultural family in India. She writes about finding happiness & balance between two very different worlds, when her baby takes a nap.


Comment

31 thoughts on “Things I will Miss About England

  • Mani (A New Life In India)

    I totally understand this post. First, you will find plenty of tea bags in India, it’s true that Indian black tea (which is used for chai) is the most common to find but I live in a tiny town and I’ve found tea bags of different brands that are not for just chai. Early grey, english breakfast, green tea.. etc. But if you love your PG tips, do pack a box because I don’t remember if they had those. Also, I will always prefer a Western toilet, but have extensively used Eastern toilets and once you get the hang of it, it’s not that terrible except for the fact that they are usually stinky and not very clean. On the positive side, it’s supposed to be more hygienic since you don’t touch anything (such as a toilet seat or a flusher) even accidentally, and they also say that the squat position gets the stuff out more easily haha. Tip: I always carry kleenex or strips of toilet paper in my bag wherever I go, because I never know when I’ll need the toilet, and they might not have a western toilet. They usually don’t have tp. Bring enough for a bad case of poop if you know what I mean. I can’t help you with the bed, I feel you on that one, and can’t help you with the traffic noise either. Oh, pack earplugs! Plenty of them, because believe it or not, they don’t really sell them in India.

  • saira777

    Great post! Having been to India and now living in Indonesia I can completely relate to number 5! I’ve been here for a year and a half now and only two months agao did I overcome my fear of the squat toilet!
    Sounds like a very exciting time in your life, good luck with the move!

  • jessicalovessmoothies

    You can get ovens here 🙂 Gas tandoors are only about $10, and if you can pay international rates you can get a regular western oven installed, too. (“Anything is possible in India!” ) My kids love banana bread, and we’ve had great success making carrot cake and chocolate cake, too.

    • Lauren (English Wife, Indian Life)

      Hi Jessica! Thank you for your comment! Anything is definitely possible in India. I am looking forward to getting one, my husband has already been to a shop which sells them but is waiting for me to arrive so I can choose one for myself! I hope you and yours are well. Take care xx

  • wisemonkeysabroad

    Pretty cool list & we’d probably feel the same! If you ever feel like tea bag tea, let us know & we would happily post you some (albeit from Australia, it would still be English breakfast 🙂 )
    PS if you get satellite in India, Eastenders might not be too impossible to get hold of 😉

  • madhmama

    You’ll get used to the toilet situation! Being at my inlaws place for 6 weeks, squatting several times a day – improved my thighs! hahahahahahahaah!!!!!

    • Lauren (English Wife, Indian Life)

      Hahaha!! My thighs are 100% jelly, I keep wondering what I would do if my thighs gave out!! There are only western toilets in our house but I know there will be that fateful day when I have no choice. Maybe I should practice squatting without the toilet (baby steps) in preparation 😛 the squat toilet workout 😛

  • Resident Non Indian

    Ouch. I only have good news on one of your ten points. I think you will easily find teabags.

    Yes, practice squatting. Once you get it, it’s very easy, useful when you have to wait in a place with no clean seating, and will be necessary sometimes.

    One place I lived in Nepal I was happy that my husband got an oven for us. But it had no insulation (so it was cheap and took up little space), but that meant it heated up the kitchen enormously. You won’t want that in Nagpur! And our electricity bill went from like Rs 400 to Rs 2000 the first month. You can find an oven in India, but make sure it has some insulation so it uses less power and heats the room less. (The stove tandoor doesn’t really work except for biscuits or a small thing, but not a roast)

    Nice blog! Keep it up.

    • Lauren (English Wife, Indian Life)

      Thank you so much NIR!
      We are going to look at ovens soon so I am extremely grateful for your advice! I will make sure it is insulated, I am hearing these horror stories of 48oC haha! I am going on my quest for tea bags tomorrow…
      Thank you so much again! I hope you are well 😀

  • Lala Rukh

    Aww that was an interesting read. You know I love the English soft beds but I have to sleep in my hard one, My bad 😛 You have moved in India from England and I have to move to England after my wedding the next month…So I guess I ll miss the opposite things you are missing now 😉 The staring problem happens here in Pakistan too….You just start walking on the street and people will look at you constantly like you are a creature out of the wolrd !! Really an amazing read ! Best of luck 🙂

  • happyhippy

    One way to avoid unwanted attention while on the back of a motorbike is to wear a full face helmet with a dark glass.You can avoid the stares , be safe and to some extent avoid inhaling the polluted air !

  • Devanshu

    I can relate with this post as I have lived in Britain for two years during my post graduation and I miss British food sometimes even though I am vegetarian. And I do understand your struggle at the new place. The best thing about India is that you can still follow your routine as used to do back home with little bit of modifications without being desi for it. When it comes to daily items and groceries, they might not be available at nearby stores but super markets here do keep as with time things are changing here in better manner and if it is not available in supermarket than go for internet shopping. Even there is a blog called ‘cynublog.blogspot.com’ which is by a lady named Cynthia who is settled in India after marriage and her blogs have a great and useful source of knowledge for expats about doing daily things in India

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Hey Devanshu,

      I am a vegetarian too, quorn is a big thing I miss in India! I have made several discoveries in supermarkets, which is great.
      I know Cyn, her blog is really great!!

      I hope you are well!

      Take care x

  • saskia

    hi Lauren, first of all i want to say i love your posts. my boyfriend is from india and a lot of what you write i can deffenitly relate to. especially the scary gas tanks hehe.
    i was just wondering after living in india for two years do you still miss the things you thought you would miss? or not so much?
    all the best

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Thank you so much, Saskia!
      I am still missing the people, food and a comfy mattress a lot, I have become accustomed to being stared at and the traffic but I think even after 2 years, it’s still early days!
      We have to allow ourselves time :)xx

  • Smriti Sinha

    Hi Lauren! I have been living in India for the last 10 years and yes even though I was not following Eastenders’ every episode, just watching it gave me a feeling of comfort and familiarity. Miss it too!
    I write too and have been thinking of writing a blog recently. You have given me inspiration. However, living in the NCR, does not allow me to write such kind words about India and its citizens (I am Indian but brought up in England). I can relate to you in many ways, no family over here etc.

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Hey Smriti,
      Ohhh, Eastenders getting really good at the moment! I am still loving it from the internet!
      I am sorry you are having such a bad experience there, I haven’t left Maharastra yet.
      I hope you get to visit England often! Lots of love xx