Blimey, I miss England. The quality of the shops, also in Portsmouth’s Commercial Road area, generally speaking, is much better. TK Maxx is much fancier too, there. Much better quality products.
Primark is more or less the same, though.
There is much less nature here, too. Lots of bricks, asphalt and concrete everywhere I look, with – granted – a lot of green mixed in. A lot of green. Even between the tram rails, nowadays.
In addition, I must admit that have just found some of Amsterdam’s/Amstelveen’s poorer folks. I went to Osdorpplein and found it a bit depressing. That’s probably an understatement. (No, an exaggeration. It’s also where I ate a vegetable samosa a few days later before I realized how English that is. There’s an indoor market area there with a lot of ethnic food.)
I also just ate my last bit of fastfood. No more fastfood for me. I took the opportunity last year to start eating much healthier and catch up on my nutritional deficiencies and it did me a world of good. At my age, eating healthy seems to matter much more. I feel so much better when I eat fresh fruits, fish and vegetables. No more crisps, no more MacDonalds.
That said, I have to keep repeating that I do not miss all the hate, contempt, gossip and dark political intrigue, as well as notably random people in the establishment’s unhealthy obsessive focus on me. Nobody on the street or in the shops here pays any undue attention to me. That is worth a lot!
Occasionally, I get friendly grins from men around my age, but there’s never any kind of aggression or hint of a threat or demand in it, not even when I bump into the person’s cart at the supermarket. Just a friendly grin is all I get. It’s nice. So I am slowly starting to feel human again. 😌
Looking back, nope, I simply could not be happy just watching YouTube all day and reading library books, while hardly ever having positive interactions with anyone. I need more than that. Also, Portsmouth has become quite a scary place to me now, scary in the sense that what goes on there is pretty spooky and unhinged. Over the top.
Maybe a place like Liverpool or Brighton would have been bliss for me. I wish I’d been given the opportunity to find out, but that’s water under the bridge.
Also, the Dutch banking system means that you have online access to much fewer sites and services, as many don’t accept the Dutch banks’ standard system of online payments. (The market share is too small.) I’ll find a solution for that. No problem.
I particularly also miss English caps. I had a pretty black and white checkered one, by a Dutch brand whose name I have forgotten but it sounded Italian. I liked it a lot. Here in the Netherlands, all the caps are baseball caps! I finally found a proper one, a brown one. By a British brand. It makes me look very British, I’m sure. 😁
(Of course, I also continue to sign petitions that pertain to Britain.)
I’m very happy with Action, though, so far!
And I had Ouwehand herring for brunch.