But my fears were unfounded! Arriving at about 7:45pm last night (Monday 16th, incidentally when an extra 10,000 people were supposed to pass through London for the Olympics), not a queue was in sight at Immigration. I wanted to take a photo for you all, but that would NOT have been a good idea really now would it? (Especially as I have changed so much from my passport picture as well!).
Off I trot onto the uber efficient train system to Paddington station, to whisk me away to the West Country. But NOT so uber efficient are their food or coffee outlets. I was helpfully informed by a smiling barista in Starbucks that they close at 9pm, so I couldn't order (CLOSE AT 9??! Don't forget I've been living in Greece, people - where things START TO OPEN at 9pm).
At least Costa is open 24 hrs. I sit in the grim, chilly station - observing the world around me. Alas Costa does not offer free Internet (unlike their Athens branches). Ho hum, being internetless would probably do me good anyway for a bit.
I board my train - it pulls away at 9:45pm. As it's the last train to the West Country that night, it stops at every single tiny station you can think of. If the weather wasn't reminder enough that I was back 'home', at Bristol Temple Meads on jump about 7 youngish people (in their 30's) who've been to a concert and are absolutely rolling drunk. And yes, they choose to sit opposite me.
"I bet they get off at Bridgwater" I silently said to myself. For those of you familiar with the West Country and Bridgwater, you'll understand why I thought that.
Actually, we had a really interesting chat and once I'd managed to ignore the overtures of one guy (and he got the hint that he wasn't really getting anywhere anyway), they were an interesting group. They kept repeating how NICE I was, and how non-judgemental.
Well, to be honest - they made my journey quite interesting and certainly gave me a lot to think about regarding cultural differences. You see? Not even in the country 24 hrs and ALREADY subjected to drunkenness and potentially threatening behaviour. They WEREN'T threatening at all, once you just spoke to them - but on the face of it they were. BTW they did, indeed, get off at Bridgwater.
All this: weather, drunken people in their 30's shows me even more that I've made the right decision to stay in Greece - where people don't become aggressively drunk, where they don't PLAN to get drunk, are FRIENDLY drunks (if they do happen to get drunk) and where the sun shines almost 365 days of the year.
Still, it's good to be back for a while. I will report back more when I go to London next week. I'm looking forward to seeing my friends and attempting to get into Olympic mood.