England vs Spain

A few days in England is always enough to make you remember why Spain is a great place to live. Or maybe just that Spain is still doing alright in a few areas where England started to slide a while ago. For example, half an hour in Reading station, was enough to remind me that England is full of overweight teenage mothers, overweight football hooligans, and people generally wearing terrible clothes. You have to queue for half an hour to get out of the station, because the station where you got on the train didn’t have a ticket office. When you ask the woman on the gate where to get your missing ticket from, you receive a well practised scowl. The bloke behind you in the queue, sipping away at his can of lager, is shouting preschool English into his mobile, despite the fact that he is obviously in his mid-20s.

This may just be a Reading thing, but I have a feeling it’s pretty widespread in the UK these days.

On the other hand, it’s quite nice to go to the pub, and not leave stinking of cigarette smoke. It’s quite nice to see cars slow down when they see a traffic light changing to Orange. It’s quite nice to see some decent television without 20 minute adverts on the BBC. And there’s something wonderful about driving along empty country roads at seven o’clock on a bright, spring Sunday morning, past green fields, and towering sunlit trees. England is a beautiful country, but these days it’s becoming a little too ‘Reading station’ for my liking…