The Repatriate Binge

There is something special about food from your own country, the food you grew up with. I love Indian food but being an expat, there are those times when you daydream about food, salivate about food, and when you happen to get your little mits on some imported food, you feel like you’re holding diamonds in your hands.

Those who have travelled or lived abroad will understand the cravings you get. When I arrived in England, after a year of living in India, the first thing I ate was a vegetarian version of a full English breakfast- it was divine!

vegetarian english breakfast

Vegetarian full English breakfast! (photo credit: sentrymedicalgroup.org)

After that gorgeous meal, I continued on a six week binge eating session, which involved the following items:

  • Cheddar cheese
  • Halloumi cheese
  • Emmental cheese
  • Wensleydale and cranberry cheese
  • Goat cheese
  • Cheese scones
  • Cheese and Victorian chutney sandwiches
  • Cheesecake
  • Beans on toast
  • Peanut butter
  • Vegetarian sausages
  • Chip shop chips (really thick and greasy ones)
  • Guacamole
  • Burritos
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries
  • Pickled onion monster munch (crisps)
  • Poppy seed rolls
  • Tiger bread
  • Fruit yoghurt
  • Rolo yoghurt
  • Chocolate cake
  • Lemon drizzle cake
  • Almond slice
  • Cranberry sauce on roast potatoes
  • Mince pies (a Christmas treat!)
  • Chocolate limes (hard boiled sweets with chocolate in the middle)
  • Fudge of every flavour
  • Sunday dinner with cheese and nut roast!

The first two weeks I was back in England, I was having two cheese, tomato and crisp sandwiches for breakfast! I couldn’t get enough of them! You may pick up on a theme here, I love cheese.

The result of my food reunion?

I gained 18 pounds (that’s over 8 kilograms) during my six weeks in England, which I thought wasn’t too bad considering everything I had been eating. The weight gain is noticeable, I’m very lucky Indian clothes are loose and I can still fit in them! So, I’ve come back to India heavier than I was, after being told I should to lose weight before I left (not by my husband, someone else), but I seriously don’t care… I do not regret a single delicious mouthful! Yum

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English Life, Indian Wife

I expected to have all of those ‘repatriation’ culture shocks, but coming back to England was like slipping back in time, into the warm slippers of my comfort zone. England is just the same as it always was, have I just woken up from a complex and life changing dream? The changes I feel are within myself, not the world around me. I feel stronger and calmer, more stable. Last time I stood on English soil, I was suffering with anxiety disorder and depression, life was difficult, looking back I am surprised I managed the journey to India in my condition! Returning to England has revealed to me how much I have changed.

India forced me face my fears head on, I was thousands of miles away from my definition of normal. Along with discovering more about my own spirituality, that push, however stressful, has given me strength that those little white pills never could (I’m talking about antidepressants)! I am pretty proud of myself and so grateful to my fabulous husband for being so supportive during my first year in India (I miss him so much!).

England is cold and Christmasy! After having a year-long summer (by English standards), that first blast of icy air when I left Heathrow airport was refreshing, it didn’t take more than a couple of second for ‘refreshing’ to become unbearable, but I did savour that moment while it lasted!

I must have eaten my weight in cheese products and already have several Christmas songs stuck in my head. Whilst I absolutely love celebrating Hindu festivals, they do not hold the magical nostalgia that Christmas has. That extra spark that I am sure my husband feels for Diwali, childhood memories and familiar traditions. It’s such a relief to see my family again and I’m feeling so excited to see some of my dear friends later this week!

So here I am, feeling like an Indian wife living an English life, wearing cosy slippers! 

(The header image, for those who do not know, is of the birth of Jesus Christ and the reason for celebrating Christmas. I am planning on writing several posts about Christmas and Christmas traditions before the big event itself. Picture credit: fellowshipofminds.com)