It was nice to see some of the things in that last post. It was nice I had a quiche this morning and that ordering my Starbucks was uneventful instead of the ‘should I try to speak Chinese or should I just say ‘grande latte’. That I could read everything I needed to do on labels or machines. That the lady in Starbucks said, ‘sorry darling’ with a Northern twang when she accidentally bumped into me.

But walking through the centre of Manchester yesterday lunch time, the overriding feeling was of being overwhelmed by it all. It was just a massive shock to the system. It’s not the number of people, China doesn’t lack for that at all. When I’m in China, I don’t have the anxiety I did yesterday. Whereas here, it’s definitely there. I don’t know why, I’m not so worried about bumping into someone in China or making eye contact. Here… It’s just more so, justified or not.

Day one

In no particularly order – understanding other people’s conversations around you, Kate, paying for a trolley at the airport, not having to fill in a landing card, £5:40 for parking, safer driving, Finn the dog, Finn the dog snoring, lasagne, squash, water from a tap, WESTERN SUPERMARKETS, pork pies, garlic bread, tea, jet lag, proper milk.

Bloc Party.

Have been posting to omar.tumblr.com more and more. It’s more private then Facebook and other reasons but it’s there.

I was listening to Bloc Party recently and it took me back to a particular place in my life.

JH and I went to two different gigs in a really short space of time, I think. I remember buying one set of them over face value too, I think. I was doing my PGCE. So, it was… (approximate values)

3 teaching years in China.
3 teaching years in Manchester
1 teaching year in Gloucester

about 7 years ago.

And the second one was in Wolverhampton, Jenn drove and we went up with J and S. And it’s not that that I remember, it’s that it was then I decided to not do my third and final PGCE placement. It was one of those times when the right decision feels like the wrong one. I needed to do it and in hindsight I can see that with startling clarity but at the time it didn’t feel that way. I needed to take myself out of the situation. And I did, and for a time, it took a while to work things through. And I did work them through. And I moved on and up and out of Gloucester and then up and out of the country.

Life ebbs and flows, this much I know. But when times are bad, I already know that I’ve been here before and that it has turned around.