15 September 2009

On the UK like butter on toast

Now that I have been in the UK for a year and I have my daughter's visa, I feel pretty damn positive about this country. All told, it's been a pretty good year for us. Among the good things:
  • Great healthcare. We had to take Mei in again for some ring worm. Called in the morning, got an appointment in the afternoon, waited five minutes, another great doctor--great with both of the kids, out in ten minutes, needed medicine for free. No questions, no IDs, no nothing. You don't want a public option in the States? Fine. I'm going to live in the UK with very good, free insurance.
  • Milton Keynes, for as much as I have complained about it, has a lot of advantages. Ability to ride bike off the main road on well-cared for bike paths anywhere in the city? Check. No traffic? Check. Everything conveniently available? Check. Four bedroom house within walking distance of the city centre/ train station and huge garden? Check, check, and check.
  • A job that makes me feel human. I wanted to go to school the rest of my life and I got a four year extension on that dream. And I'm getting paid to do it. Imagine that.
  • The weather. I love the weather in England. It's so effing mild. It's been like the middle of September for three months now. I really, really dig it.
  • London. Enough said.
  • Markets. These were hard to find in Japan and the States. All over the place here.
  • Oxford.
  • Bread and beer. The food in England is not great, unless you want bread and beer. Then it's pretty damn good.
  • An easier life for my wife and kids. I was worried the most about them before coming, but they have it better here than in Japan in a lot of ways. Yoko doesn't need to work. There are parks everywhere. Yoko has been able to find good friends.
I think we will stay on another year but now, back to moving.