UK day 13: Leeds

I am right now in Leeds, Yorkshire. I’m mostly here to visit a friend, who has come here to study for a year.

Leeds itself is okay. Just another city, really. There’s a museum for Royal Armouries, which we went to today. That was good. But other than that? Not that much to do or see here. We’ve spent most time in the Trinity shopping center, either eating or spending money we don’t have. I may or may not have spent 40 pounds on DVD’s at HMV.

We’re going to visit York tomorrow, which should be good.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the UK though, and the potential prospect of living here. Of course, a holiday like this is completely different from actually having a life, and I’m not sure if I would be okay in this country for longer periods of time.

I think I might even be going through a bit of a culture shock. I’ve been noticing so many things that are different from what I’m used to, and there are some things of which I’m still not sure what to think of. You’d think that, being from just the nextdoor country, there wouldn’t be that much difference in culture, but I will readily admit that I, too, tend to forget that there are huge differences. In Japan, I was prepared to face differences, but here in the UK they just hit me in the face and I never quite know how to deal with them.

Still, I will be sad to leave the UK next week. There are things I’m happy about, like getting full control over my food and not having to eat out twice a day anymore and dragging around all this stuff. I also won’t have to focus on every single word being not only the correct word but also pronounced right, which is quite a challenge for someone who usually just writes English.

But I will also miss this country. The freedom in clothing, the cheap books and DVD’s, but mostly the amazing people I’ve met. I’ve made new friends, and going back to a different country is going to be strange.

I suppose I’m also not at all looking forward to my old life contuining the same way it did before. Back to living in a student dorm even though I graduated last year. Back to therapy, the same routines, the same places. I’m thinking of changing some things, maybe even taking up dancing lessons (if I can afford it and have the time for it), but most of it will just be same old, same old.

Mixed feelings, that I have yet to untangle and make sense of. Not sure if I ever will.

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