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  • Chris Keen

Falklands Decompression...

So you’ve just finished your tour in the Falkland Islands and you’re heading back to the UK. This is either great news for you or sad news because you loved the place so much!


For me it was a bit of both, great news because I love the UK and it’s where ‘home’ is and sad because I really like the Falklands. I made some great friends over there and we have taken away some amazing memories.


Either way... You’re heading home so I thought I’d write a quick blog to prepare you for the changes. It takes a week or so to adjust to the lifestyle changes!


Food Glorious Food

You’ve most likely been eating dinner in the mess and you may have even ventured into Stanley to try some of the delights down there, but when you get back to the UK your mind will be blown! You’ll be back to being spoilt for choice on not only what you can eat, but also the flexibility to enjoy it at whatever time you would like it!


As soon as we landed at Brize we drove straight to McDonalds for breakfast, we then had BurgerKing for lunch, a few hours later a KFC twister for a snack and then when we got home we ordered a curry for dinner! It was pure heaven.


TV Licence

Don’t forget that when you get back to the UK, in order to watch TV you have to have a TV Licence, the days of having free TV courtesy of BFBS are over.


On the bright side though, you'll now have hundreds of channels to choose from, and your wifi will be good enough to watch Netflix or Amazon Prime without the wheel of death constantly showing up, so once again you’ll be spoilt for choice without the need to visit the old blockbuster style library to borrow DVDs!


Pubs and Clubs

You’re allowed to purchase alcohol after 11pm again! How crazy is that?! I was that excited, I did a pub crawl and ended up in a night club until 4am.


I’ve got to admit though, when 11pm aproached I did feel the need to down my drink and head to the nearest exit until I remembered where I was...


Shopping

I know you were spoilt for choice in the Falklands but getting back to shopping in the UK is incredible. There are sooo many shops to choose from and some of the supermarkets are even open 24 hours a day!


I went to Tesco at 3am, just because I could really... I did however end up just sitting on the floor in the bread aisle slowly rocking backwards and forwards because there were just too many options. Be prepared to spend a long time in the fruit and veg section, admiring the huge variety of fresh produce available to you, and as for the prices... only 40p for a cucumber instead of the £4 it was in the Falklands!


You’ll also be pleased to hear that you’ll no longer see lots of food that‘s out of date being sold at full price!


Clothes shopping becomes fun again, with each brand having their own shop, rather that half a rail in the West Store! You can still shop online too, with the added benefit that you may see your items delivered then next day (if not the same day!), rather than waiting weeks for them to be delivered.


Internet Access

The internet will be readily available once again because as we know the mobile data in the UK seems years ahead of the basic broadband available in the Falkland Islands...


Whether you’re walking down the street, travelling in the car, or sat on the toilet it’s brilliant AND it’s not going to cost you a small fortune just to use it.


I upgraded my phone contract to include unlimited data when I got back to the UK, and this costs less for a full year than the limited internet access in the Falklands costs per month!


Driving

It’s going to be fun getting behind the wheel in the UK... For a start you won’t have to avoid huge craters on the road AND you can drive faster than 40mph! I know, it’s crazy...


You can also get to loads of different places in the same time that it takes you just to drive to Stanley!


Be prepared for traffic though and a nice bit of road rage on a daily basis, there are so many more road users back here and they aren’t quite as friendly... I still wave at every car I pass, but no-one seems to be waving back to me.


You’re less likely to be without your vehicle for long periods of time again too. If you have any issues with your car, there are plenty of garages to take it to for repair, and chances are they will have it back with you within the day...no more waiting 2 months for the spares to arrive!


Insects

There are a few insects in the Falklands but when you get back to the UK you'll be reminded of the really scary ones like wasps, I spent a good half hour the other day running away from a wasp.


The Weather

No matter what the weather is doing in the Falklands, it’s never really that warm, so a winter coat is needed all year round, just in case the weather turns! Living in the UK again provides a welcome break from this... Not only do I no longer need to carry a winter coat in the summer, I can wear shorts and flip flops!


It is worth remembering though, that the UK equivalent of the winter coat requirement is an umbrella... We might be less likely to see winter any day of the year, but we are prone to rain any time!



Hopefully this has prepared you for your return to the UK and reminded you what wonders it will bring, however you will miss the Falklands, I can almost guarantee it!


Where else can you see penguins everywhere....


Your local zoo or safari park can help to fill this void though!







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