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Eight months and fifteen countries later, HELO CYMRU, RWY’N CARTREF.

Kudos to me for not even using Google Translate for that sentence; do I get to be on S4C yet?!

According to the Apple Weather app, it’s 4ºC outside which is absolutely absurd given that said app is also telling me that it’s 26ºC back in Kerala. This time four days ago I was over there in the baking heat trawling store after store trying to find a sensible pair of shoes for the flight home (because Havaiianas just ain’t gonna cut it for UK winter) and now I’m wearing a scarf and hat indoors. Really, what is weather?!

I think know I’m still jetlagged, so please do forgive me if this just comes off as nonsensical rambling. What’s new, huh?

Anyway, for those who aren’t fluent or semi-fluent or ‘I did GCSE and can discuss smoking and cancer’ type of fluent in Welsh, that little sentence up there that kind of looks like I’ve let my 2-year old niece loose on my keyboard says Hey Wales, I’m home. Because yep, you guessed it, I AM HOME.

And I could not be less enthusiastic about it.

A few days ago I wrote this post about coming home and despite secretly hoping and praying that I’d be proved wrong about all of my grumblings and complaints about what it would be like to come back, so far I’ve been spot on! Which makes me sad.

I didn’t want to be right.

But true to form absolutely everybody I came into contact with at Heathrow looked like they wanted to throw me in front of a bus, I had to sell a kidney to afford a bottle of water (£1.99 for 500ml – WTF?!) at the WHSmith in Terminal 3 and it is effing cold.

And the confusing money situation?

Well, I’m slightly embarrassed to retell this tale but while trying to purchase aforementioned bottle of water (lemon and lime flavoured Volvic in case you were wondering) at the self-service machine, I took out the fiver I’d been keeping hidden away in my purse for the past 8 months in anticipatiin of this very moment.  Naturally the machine thought it’d be a funny bugger and spit it out not once, not twice but three times.

So I turned to the bloke behind the kiosk and in my dishevelled and confused ‘I’ve just got back to the country and have had 3 hours of sleep in 2 days’ state, I asked him if my fiver was still valid because – and I quote – “We have that funny plastic money now, right?”

He laughed. Oh, did he laugh!

And I felt like a right donut. Because as it turns out we don’t have the same kind of efficiency and speed when it comes to demonetising old money as India does, and those ‘funny plastic’ fivers aren’t a regular thing just yet. At least now I know! And maybe from now on I’ll just stick to paying with card…





  1. How insane is it that you’re home?! It is freezing and horrible, you’re completely correct. It must feel so strange after so long away from the UK! Although at least it’s nearly Christmas and lets face it there’s no better time to be here! Can’t wait to hear all about how you settle back in; are you off again any time soon?!

    • rhiydwi Reply

      I know, it’s mad! You’ll know all about it soon 😉 Just a month left for you, right?
      Yeah I’m actually going to Latvia this Sunday with my cousin! Only for a few days to feel all festive and Christmassy, then I’m back again ugh.

  2. Living so close to the Welsh border when I grew up meant I got S4C instead of Channel 4; all my friends found it hilarious when they came round as we couldn’t understand a word that was being said (aside from “Cymru”, “araf” and a few others). Coming home after an extended period of time abroad is a strange one, though when I return to the UK I’ll be relieved to escape the French bureaucracy even if summer over here does actually mean summery weather! When I read about India changing its currency overnight I meant to ask you about it, as there were a lot of features on the BBC News app about how tourists/non-Indians were dealing with it – was it as chaotic as it was depicted in the press? Also, I believe the old fiver becomes obsolete in March 2017 (ish) – up til then you can still spend them while they gradually take them out of circulation!

    • rhiydwi Reply

      Really?! That’s interesting to know they used to get S4C even on the English side! I can’t see the channel written down without saying ‘S pedwar ec’ in the annoying voice of the man on the advert – aah. I bet you’re so excited to leave it all behind for a little while!
      Oh yeah, it was absolute madness! There was a blanket 2000 rupee limit for everyone withdrawing from ATMs (even foreigners!), and by midday almost every single ATM would be completely drained. If that happened over here it’d be fine because we can pay by card in almost all shops/restaurants etc but over there it’s not like that at all. I was fortunate that I have a lot of friends there who were able to pay for most of the things I couldn’t, but I dread to think how stressful it must have been for a lot of visitors.

      • In the UK, I live a couple of miles from the border… strange though how I used to get S4C and friends living a few streets away had Channel 4! Used to get all the ads encouraging people to take up learning Welsh too. I’m ridiculously excited to come home for Christmas, it just wouldn’t be the same abroad for me! That sounds like absolute chaos – lucky you had friends to help you out, I imagine many others weren’t/aren’t so fortunate.

  3. I’ve only been following your blog for a little while but it was still strange to read the title of this post! It’s like the end of a little story (well hopefully NOT the end! 🙂 ) anyway, welcome back! and enjoy being home!
    Ellie x

    • rhiydwi Reply

      Aw thank you! 😀 Fingers crossed it’s not the end anyway, I’ll drive myself mad if I stay in one place for too long. x

    • rhiydwi Reply

      Thank you! <3 Oh yes, I was SO happy when my bus driver was a jolly Welshman! Back with my people. I've had 2 in the last 2 days and keep pulling them out of my pocket thinking they're empty Skittles wrappers or something. Not safe haha. x

  4. Great snaps mate. I have been debating being a decent camera for my travels for awhile now. What kind of price range would I be looking at for a camera good enough worth bringing for Hi Res that won’t break the banks?

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