And so all good things must come to an end. It is now only a couple of days before I start at the new school and confront the chaos that will no doubt confront me.
For the last few weeks I have actually been home to remind myself of what my family looks like and them what I look like. Of course within two days all the old foibles and behavioural traits that make you made at your family start to surface again. For reasons of cost and practicality I was living with my family whcih made it even worse. I couldnt even say "ok, nice to see you, I am going back to my place now." Sometimes even moving rooms didnt help as within a few minutes someone would appear to find out what I was doing. If I went out, I got the where are you going, meeting someone nice, oooh that will be nice, did you have a good time, when will you be back..... interrogation. My god, my family still thinks I am 6 years old!!
Going round the city centre it seems to have changed quite a bit. There seems to be more hotels, bars and restaurants than ever before. The number of national shop "chains" has definately increased and a lot of the independent shops have closed and been replaced with the anonymous corporate brand image. Thankfully the number of "traditionally authentic" Irish pubs have not increased.
One thing I would like to have done was go round to my sisters a lot more because she has got broadband. Hmmm :) Soulseek is all I will say to you. I only had a little time to use it but it seems to be a better altenative to Kazaa and the like. From what I can see, it has no spy or scumware on it. Still, even with that little time, I managed to download an almost full cd of mp3 songs that I only have on vinyl.
In someways going back was great as you didnt need to bother about the language, you knew everything was going to cost X - even if X is a damm sight more expensive than Thailand. People had the same sort of sense of humour, you didnt need to explain any ironic comment. ( How many thais can you say that about?)
British tv hasnt really improved since I left. Satellite ( Sky ) tv is a full time job trying to find something interesting - at least it sometimes felt like that. It seems to be full of reality shows of one sort or another - house makeover, garden makeover, beauty makeover, job reality programs, and the adverts are all about selling ringtones for mobile phones or personal finance loans for debt reduction.
Some of the wierder ones are those selling stuff or quiz channels where you can win 50 pouns or higher if you phone a premium rate number costing you 1.50 pound a time. Of course they say, they only select one or two people every 5 minutes to actually get on air and answer the question and the more times you phone, the higher the chance of getting on air. Yeh right. They are probably making mega profits on the premium rate phone calls and giving away about 10% of revenue for prizes.
Most of the weather was pretty cold at home - a definite change to here. Some of it was the good cold, that crisp cold you get with blue skies and sun. Unfortunately, it was also the other cold. That raw hard cold that comes down from artic and will cold burn your ears off while blasting your face with 45 degree cold sllet or rain. And yes, one afternoon it actually snowed. Not for long or big flakes but it snowed. I must remember that feeling in the next few weeks when I am waiting for a skytrain drenched in sweat from merely being outside.