10 April 2010

Back to Kyiv after Easter

Back in Kyiv today after a weeks break for Easter back in the UK.
I was in London for a few days and then spent a week in the Lake District with my two daughters Jade and Jasmine.
I was surprised by how cold it still is in England for this time of year, as it was the Lake District it rained just about everyday anyhow. But we still enjoyed the break.

During this time, Gordon Brown decided to call a general election for May 6 and the campaigns began.
Maybe I am getting old, but I didn’t see or hear anything really interesting being put forward by any of the major parties. Plus I notice that many MPs are standing down and not seeking re-election, not just those caught up in the expenses scandal, but many others who it would appear have just had enough of politics in the UK.

One question that people ask me when I am back in England is “What do you miss most about not living in England?” There are two things I miss. Firstly, not seeing my two daughters more often and secondly not being able to drive on good roads.
That’s about it really.
I now feel like a tourist in my own country when I am back in England. I tend to view everything I see and do as a tourist. For example a Ukrainian visitor and I, paid a visit to Windsor Castle. Long time since I have been there and it still makes me feel proud to be British. However, I still find it amazing that the tourist shops and cafes/restaurants around the castle still close at 5pm. Is England geared up to cater for international tourists?
I did find one pub still open and smiled as I heard Americans asking for a drinks menu.

Compared to many other countries, the UK is still a very ‘orderly’ country. However, I purchased a train ticket from London to Retford in Nottinghamshire and had that horrible experience of getting on the train only to discover that all the seats where full.
I was forced to stand up on the train until one passenger got off the train at Peterborough.
How on earth can a developed economy not use a smart intelligent system for selling train seats? In Ukraine, they always know when all the seats have been sold and refuse to sell anymore tickets. This is logical.

I suppose it’s a good thing that the trains are being fully used in England. But then I calculated that the price of the train ticket was more than the price of my air fare from Kyiv to London.

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