It's been about a month now since leaving the UK, and I've been meaning to reflect a bit on my experience. I'm definitely glad to be back in California - my goodness, the sun is great! During my time in the UK, I was very negative about the place. Looking back, I've seen some redeeming and somewhat interesting qualities that I'd like to record here. Unfortunately, I've put this off for so long that only a couple of particular comments come to mind:
The relationship of (car) drivers in the UK is like the relationship of pedestrians in the US. I found drivers there to be generally extremely skilled (aware of their space) and very polite. In the US, when you're walking around somewhere, most of the time people will be very polite about space, and apologize for running into you. Interestingly, the converse is also true - US drivers are comparatively awful relative to the UK, though pedestrians are extremely assertive about space there, and a trip to the store can be quite stressful for an introvert like me.
Of course, my time at the lab stands out as a high point - the SuperSTEM family was really something special to be part of.
More later, if I remember.