It’s not a secret that my four months in London were definitely mixed. There was a lot of crying, anxiety, and even a few panic attacks, but overall, the experience was a net positive. But I’m REALLY happy to be going home!
Here are some things I will definitely miss from London:
Battersea Park I completed most of my runs in Battersea Park. There were a few reasons for this. One is that there are two public bathrooms in the park, so if I ever had the urge to go, there was always a bathroom nearby! Also–something I struggled with while in London was not feeling at home. By running in the same place, I got to know every nook and cranny of the park, and it really felt like home. In addition, I did get bored with the route sometimes, which was good mental training for Tokyo. If I can run 16 miles in the park (which is 5+ loops of the park), I can run 26.2 miles with a more varied course. Battersea Park is always beautiful, and I’ve loved the time I spend there.
Sainsbury’s Grocery Stores In Tel Aviv, I do not live near a grocery store where I can buy everything. I need to go to one store for fruit/veggies, one for bulk items, the butcher for meat, and I need to find a fish place. There’s also an AM:PM (large convenience store) literally around the corner from my apartment. It’s annoying that I can’t just buy everything in one place! Enter Sainsbury’s–a one-stop grocery store. This is a convenience I will definitely miss.
Salt and Vinegar Pringles I love salt and vinegar chips, and I love Pringles. Combining the two is amazing, and I m obsessed.
Beautiful Dogs There are so many adorable poodle mixes and terriers in London! In Israel, most dogs are cute mutts that probably shed small hairs. If you want a designer dog, you need to pay a lot of money. It’s not like in the US, for example, where there’s breed-specific rescue organizations, and you can find whatever kind of dog you want to adopt. HOWEVER, something Lior and I noticed is that the dogs in London do not bark. It’s very strange.
Food Halls Dinerama, I’ll miss you, and I wish there was one in Tel Aviv!
Gin and Tonics I love a good gin and tonic, and the fancy tonic flavors really take the drink up a notch. It’s such a small thing, but it really makes a difference. My personal favorite is Fever-Tree clementine tonic water, and my life will never be the same, knowing that it’s out there (and probably not available in Tel Aviv).
Rhubarb Maybe I just live under a rock, but I never saw rhubarb in Israel, and it’s EVERYWHERE in London. My personal favorite is a rhubarb (and apple) soda that I enjoy after long runs. I don’t even drink soda normally! Special mention also goes to rhubarb-flavored gin, rhubarb tonic, and rhubarb yogurt. Yum.
Mild Winter Weather When we moved to London, friends in Israel were always asking, “So, how’s the weather?” The subtext was always It’s cool that you’re living there, but we are wimps about the cold and rather than being jealous that you’re living in London, we’re going to think you’re suckers for suffering through the cold! HAHAHA. JOKE’S ON YOU! Israel faced torrential flooding–I saw videos of the main street near my apartment, and it was a river. Conversely, we enjoyed a very mild winter in London–it was usually in the mid 40s to low 50s, which as a native Chicagoan, I consider to be winter-lite. I was grateful to not have to wade through a river of debris and dog poop when I left my apartment. INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH, once the crazy floods started, people miraculously stopped caring about the weather in London.