…Gallacher’s Travels… (with apologies to Jonathan Swift)… Part I… Londoninium…

…there’s immense sadness in returning every now and then to the Land of my Birth… in the broader geography, to United Kingdom, and more  particularly, to Scotland… many fellow-expatriates over the years have shared with me that same feeling of disengagement with a country which one upon a time seemed to be the only place on Earth that I would live in… how strange they are then, these sporadic journeys back to Blighty to exercise the financial plastic, and (believe it or believe it not) to enjoy the rain and single-digit temperatures after three and half decades in the Far East and the Middle East…with each successive return sojourn, it has slowly dawned on me that it isn’t Britain which has altered so radically (although it has changed to some degree), but much more that this ol’ Jurassic’s perspective has shifted in the period I’ve been overseas… the primary centrepiece of the London leg was a gathering of the Scribbler Clan, with those LUVLY souls who felt fit to come break literary bread and sup a Nobel coffee or three with me… but more of that in Part II… Londoninium,.. a separate blog post… back to the discombobulation that greeted my efforts in some of the simple everyday activities of living in the UK… fr’example, I had to visit a Post Office to despatch parcels of books to the prize winners in my draw for my novels the other week… easy, right?… not a bit of it!… first of all… they aren’t recognisable Post Offices any more… at least, not like the last Post Office I went to, thirty-plus years ago…oh, no, Mabel… forget yer fancy grilled counter places, where yeez bought yer stamps and that was that… now the place resembles a hard-sell 7-11, where a formidable army of self-serving machines and credit card gobblers lurk, with what appeared to me like mechanical smirks…

tesco

 

…Lawd knows, whatever genius I may possess in other directions, machines and self-help gadgetry and I are not happy transaction bedfellows… the menu on the wee screen would perplex Einstein… press this! click that! choose the other!… credit card or debit card?… right way in? magnetic strip forward? … seldom correct first go… seven attempts later, the first parcel was finally accepted, labelled, stamped and disappeared into the vast unknown void of a backroom postbag… only nine more to process… fifty minutes later, with anxiety stress levels through the roof, and clutching a sheaf of receipts to prove to the universe that I had indeed survived this ordeal, I moved on to purchase a few grocery items at the local Waitrose store…

bags

…and guess what… yeez have to self serve, and the credit card machines, obviously having been given the heads-up from their cousins at the Post Office, lay in sniggering wait… Mister Gulliver may have had his own travails with the Lilliputians and BrobdingnagiansMaster Gallacher now has an enhanced respect for Mr Swift’s hero…. see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

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27 Comments

Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

27 responses to “…Gallacher’s Travels… (with apologies to Jonathan Swift)… Part I… Londoninium…

  1. And everyone wonders why there’s so much unemployment …

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The last time I was in the U.S., I went through a do-it-yourself super market. Seemed like something out of Star Trek to me. It seems the post offices here haven’t changed much since the British Raj. I’m not exaggerating. I have no idea what they’re like in the U.S. these days. Here the stamp glue isn’t all that good, so they have a pot of help-yourself glue sitting there. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Gordon Johnson

    Thanks giving me another early morning LOL. Laughter is definitely the best medicine. Keep on blogging ☺

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I was so sorry flu kept me away from getting to London x

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It was fun seeing you though. Even though you didn’t four us with your kilt!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m waiting to walk into the GP’s surgery to find an automated doctor asking for my symptoms… it’s only a matter of time.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I found the same last time I went home to the islands. The ‘jungle’ i used to build forts in has a development on it, and the moon people house (so named by my five year old self because it was the tallest building (all of 10-12 storeys) in Kailua and i figured that must be where the moon people lived) is now a dwarf. The home you miss in your heart is the people and the memories. The place is just where it happened and moves along just fine without you… ‘Tis a wonder to think the scribbler that coined ‘nostalgia’ all those years ago felt the same thing. Makes me realize what a weensy cog i am in the wheels of time. But I agree…self service may be convenient, but it’s not ‘service’! Awesome post, Sir!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Rosa Ave Fénix

    I’ve always lived in Barcelona, but I’ve travelled a lot in my holidays and when I come back to my city, it seems everything is new to me, it’s not strange it happens to you after so many years… but your birth-home always will be in your heart.
    Welcome to the Post Office and so… hehehe..
    It’s a pleasuse to read you…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m with Carol. Great to see you yesterday, Seumas. We know your survived the trials and tribulations…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Had to laugh as the experience is so easy to identify with
    Unfortunately the machines are faster more accurate with the education level around here – and the machines are frequently more pleasant. Sad. Just sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I refuse to use self service machines! I dislike them with a passion. I want human interaction. Amusingly the only time I end up using them is when a member of staff insists they’ll do it with me, so hey I still win! I look forward to your London post. I wish I could have stayed longer, it was my bad for running late x

    Liked by 1 person

    • ..that’s what ultimately happened… so they employ machines to replace people, then employ people to show you how to operate the machines for the service the people would have given you in the first place…. daft, y’ask me! 🙂

      Like

  12. Seumas, I enjoyed this post because things do change and we have grown as well. Though places aren’t as we left them, we can still enjoy them in their new stages. Lynn M.

    Liked by 1 person

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