As I travelled to England I wondered what it would look like to someone travelling to it for the first time from Fiji, a country that is different in so many ways. My guess is that a Fijian would probably consider it impolite to give some impressions.
I found myself impressed by the age of the buildings (there are no old buildings in Fiji), and the sense of stability and continuity they give, despite the many obvious changes that have taken place in the 11 years since I was last there. Cambridge is more prosperous – new homes and businesses have sprung up, more people have expensive cars, the shops are full of expensive goods with comfortable people buying them and the public places are well kept.
We found that, overall, people here (Cambridge in England and Forres in Scotland where she was staying) are much less friendly and less helpful, more rude, impatient and aggressive than people in Suva, Fiji – a town of roughly similar size to Cambridge. Cambridge is one of the best places in the world to be an academic, but otherwise we would not come here.
On our penultimate day, we went past the chapel of Kings College during the evening when the BBC had illuminated the exterior with powerful lights for a Christmas broadcast. It made an extraordinary sight, to which our little camera barely did justice.