What does that mean in terms of friends?

I often say, I rudest to people I feel closest to. Because I don’t want to offend people I don’t know well or don’t know at all. It would cause conflict or because why would I? Maybe I just do it with close friends because I find it difficult to say I really feel? These are the people I know best, that I want to know me best.

But it also means that these relationships are the most challenging for me. These are the people I don’t want to offend, whose opinions I value. Whose off-hand comments can sometimes shake me most.

It’s inevitable though isn’t it?

Being back in the UK

(In no particular order.)
* How much for parking?!
* Supermarkets and all the wonders inside
* Fish and chips
* Being in the same time zone as most people I talk to
* Not having to start the VPN before doing anything on my phone
* Streaming services
* Driving a manual car
* Driving being so different
* Drinking water from the tap
* Jet lag with small children

goodbyes

“I think one of the hardest bits of living abroad is missing home. And I mean that in the sense of it being things and people that you know. The familiar. The things that comfort us.

And sure, there’s plenty of things that make living abroad great but being away from immediate family, friends and these things is hard.

It is for me.

So, to have something that reminds you of home, that can connect you to it is important. And what that is might be different for everyone. An activity or a type of food.

Natalie is that connection for me, I think.

Talking to her feels like home.

I’ve got so used to having you here. It’s going to be strange when you’re not next year.

I’m going to miss you.”

I had to write some farewell words for a friend who was leaving today. It is the nature of the work, people come and go every year.

This hit me hard though. I sobbed before, during and after. Should have been 20 seconds or so but took a few minutes to compose myself.

Dinner. I couldn’t finish it, because it was SPICY and I’m about to do a few drinks. I don’t think that’s a good combination!

home

As I’m less than two weeks away from going back to the UK. It’s making me reflect on what home means to me and daily life being so different to the UK. China is home but will never be home. Yet, the idea of going back to the UK makes me nervous now. Being able to understand everyone, easily communicating, not clearly being different.

These circles represent where Mum and Dad, brother, sister and I live. I’ve followed dad and moved to a new country for work and married someone there. My sister moved to a new country for work, met someone and then moved to his home country. It means we’re a little, spread out.

The problem is that I’m trying to use my phone less and eat less crap, but with two small children it’s really hard…

I know she was asking me to wait, that she was giving me a refund and then I would need to pay again. Except I didn’t understand a word she said.