Modest Expectations

It's good to be back. In the land of Po, where the internet is fast and the living is easy. My repatriation started at 2am this morning with the sound of a rooster.

I soon silenced the electronic kitchen timer and decided that it probably wasn't a good idea to drink three pints of cider on an empty stomach. Three hours of alcohol-disturbed sleep wasn't really enough. I felt crappy, really crappy. I wearily plodded my way to the coach station, the heavy backpack giving me some idea of what the seriously fat and heavily pregnant have to endure. The coach soon arrived at Gatwick, I made my through security and managed to get probably another half an hour's sleep before being herded onto the aircraft. About eight hours after leaving Brighton I arrived home to my flat complete with proper bed (which after five nights of sleeping on sofas I shall relish falling asleep in later).

Looking back, it hadn't been a bad trip. Maybe not as exciting as the last one. I wasn't expecting much, I didn't even bring a camera this time (I was lacking someone to pose for me anyway). Anyhow, I had achieved the twin objectives; to personally deliver birthday presents to my mum and to catch up with some old friends.

I spent almost half my time (well the waking hours anyway) in my home town. A strange mix of the new and the familiar. The familiar streets where I'd grown up, cycled around and even swam were still there. Eastbourne seems a lot more multicultural now, Indian restaurants abound, there a few Polish delis too. The town seemed to be a little bit more cosmopolitan. I can't ever see it becoming a hipstas' paradise like Brighton has become though. I quite happily sat in what could be Brighton's trendiest cafe eating my fish finger and rocket sandwich while sipping away at my rose and ginger infused lemonade.

The holiday passed relatively quickly and without consuming vast quantities of alcohol. I didn't work. I didn't cook. I didn't even make myself a cup of tea. That's proper relaxing. Somehow I managed to watch more films in a five short days than I would see in a month in Poland. The restaurant food was good, even though one of my meals cost what would be one eighth of a month's rent in Krakow. For me Brighton is haunted by memories; wild, crazy, passion-filled, adrenaline and alcohol-fuelled times. For the moment Poland is the place for making new memories. At the moment these memories aren't quite so vivid. Maybe I've grown up. Or, just maybe, my Brighton memories are tinged with nostalgia for bygone loves and infatuations. Yes, I think we can safely discount the growing up theory.

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