The first thing that struck me was that I could understand what everyone around me was saying! I was flooded with voices, other people's conversations, advertisements on walls, shop signs. I'm used to turning off all these distractions in Israel, easy to do because they are mostly in Hebrew.
I just loved walking into Boots pharmacy and seeing all these familiar brands, and so much variety! Israel has most things of course, but it is a small country compared with the UK and Europe so it doesn't quite get the variety.
The architecture in the cities really shocked me as well. I'd forgotten what it looked like, all the intricate details make it so interesting to look up to from the street. I have talked before about how I love the buildings in Tel Aviv, in all their dilapidated glory and minimalist lines, but seeing English architecture reminded me of my love for living history, as seen in buildings that line the streets of London and Newcastle.
|Amit on Grey St, Newcastle. Beautiful buildings. From England|
We had fun shopping in the mega clothes stores, eating the delightful English cuisine (sausages, bacon, pies, sausage rolls, roast lunch, curry), drinking beer, seeing all the greenery, walking till our feet hurt, and of course seeing friends.
There is nothing quite like seeing old friends. It's like those four years never really happened, and we've been transported to a meeting where we still know each other super well, but we've had all the experiences in between to make our conversations even more interesting! Amit loved meeting my old friends too, as we're both all about the people, and he didn't mind that I dragged him around England meeting 20 people in 7 days.
Nita and Ken took us on a road trip through the Northumberland countryside to the beautiful Belsay Hall - a fantastic mixture of historic house, castle and gardens, with an amazing art exhibition exploring the impact of scale.
|Enjoying the green at Belsay. From England|
It was a strange experience going back to somewhere overseas that I once lived. I remember when I thought that the culture there was normal, it was part of my everyday life. I remembered the streets I walked on everyday, I remember the music I was listening to, I remember the people I knew there. All sorts of things. But in those four years since living in England I've experienced so many things that have led to me living in Israel with my man. Walking through the streets of Newcastle four years ago I could never have predicted moving to Israel! I also felt that I am living in the right place. Tel Aviv is the place for me.
Upon returning to Israel two thoughts dominated my mind:
1) I need to eat some Israeli salad!
2) I missed hearing and speaking Hebrew, strangely enough. The trip made me realise that speaking another language is an exciting thing, and I've been spurred on to study more Hebrew now.
A slide show of our England photos...