Missing home, and a public apology

Originally uploaded by julieb1975
For the last week I have been in an ungodly terrible homesick funk. Doesn't matter that my job is going really REALLY well, nor that my relationship with Will continues to grow closer week in and out, nor that most people I know back home never leave the US full stop, let alone get to live abroad and take weekend trips to places like Nice or Marrakech. For the last seven days, I have been completely and utterly loathing living in the United Kingdom. Every little thing that is different than how I grew up has been annoying me. Any correspondence from my family, especially if pictures were involved, reduced me to tears instantaneously. I have spent the last week feeling sorry for myself, isolating myself from everything around me and generally just hating the fact I live on this god-forsaken island. Hell, I even went as far as to blame the UK for dropping a bottle of wine on our balcony yesterday. My reasoning was that if I lived in America, I'd have a huge fridge that could take cases of wine in it and we wouldn't have to store the wine outside like we do here in the UK, and if the wine wasn't on the balcony, I wouldn't have worn my gloves when grabbing a new bottle and hence not broken the bottle and blurting out 'I f*£%ing hate this country'. The minute it came out of my mouth and I saw the look on my husband's face, I realised that my self-pitying UK-hating self needed to find some perspective.

It seems like every 4-6 months; I go through a really bad period of missing America, especially my family and friends but also just America full stop, the culture (or lack thereof), the food, the lights, the convenience, the cars, etc. It's only a temporary state but while I'm wallowing in it, I just get irritated by EVERYTHING that isn't American here. And I start getting paranoid that I'm changing too much, becoming more English than before, and that the longer I'm here the further away I drift from being an American girl. The last two spells of these feelings were in June and September respectively. The one in June lasted for weeks and didn't go away until we finally had some nice weather mid-summer. The one in September was brought on by missing my grandfather's funeral and not having my family at my wedding. Neither lasted long, and I really don't think this spell will either... it's all swings and roundabouts as they say over in ol' Blighty.

Moving on to the apology component of this entry. I really, truly must apologise to my darling husband Will for tolerating me during these anti-British spells. I love you so much my dear, and you don't deserve me spurting expletives about your home any more than I would deserve to hear the same about mine from you. You are incredibly compassionate and patient with me during these spells, and I do appreciate you so very very much. Plus, you remind me of the things in this country I CAN'T live without, which of course include you, British bacon and the BBC, although it's a close tie between you and the bacon for first place on that list.



adventures in commuting

Recently I converted into a public transportation princess, taking the Metro and bus everywhere I need to go. There are a lot of pros to this mode of transportation, including but not limited to spending only £50 a month for a bus pass instead of £300-£400 for a car. I also love the fact that I don't have to battle Newcastle traffic behind the wheel but instead wait it out it behind the pages of a good book every morning and night. I've read more books the last 6 weeks than I read the prior 6 months combined. It sort of rocks.

Another happy side effect of using public transportation 5 days a week is that I also get to experience some pretty weird shiznit on a regular basis. Here are a couple examples of recent encounters you might find amusing...

This morning while I was waiting for my bus just outside of Newcastle Central Station, I saw a very bizarre occurrence. A seagull swooped down and placed a tube of lipgloss on the ground 3 feet away from me, squawked and then flew away. Seriously, wtf did a seagull want with lipgloss in the first place?

Yesterday morning at 845am a drunk 19 year old girl passed out drunk in the front of my bus while her friends debated whether or not they were going to drag her drunk ass home yet again or just leave her on the bus to sleep it off. YET AGAIN? As in, being this drunk before 9am is a regular occurrence? Dear me!

Monday on the metro I witnessed a group of 10-year-old girls having a debate about whether or not one of the girl's boyfriends was really gay, or just pretending to be so because he didn't want her to kiss him. Their consensus at the end was that he must really be gay because boys don't say their gay if they're not, and who wouldn't want to kiss little miss as she's, and i quote, 'sexy'... Ten or eleven year old girls having this sort of conversation - seriously my head nearly imploded.

One of my favorite journey-mates is this middle aged transvestite man who periodically gets on our really crowded morning bus cross-dressed to the nines and then instead of facing forward like everyone else does, (s)he stands, facing towards the back, staring blankly backwards at the seated and standing passengers who are all facing frontwards. I love this guy, he really brightens my morning when I see him. I love seeing my British seatmates struggle to discern the most polite way to handle someone facing the wrong direction. Honestly, I really do think the 'facing the wrong direction' part bothers them more than the fact he's wearing a killer woman's business suit with red pumps and a bad wig. Brits don't really care about a person's sexual or wardrobe preferences, but going against the natural order of things on a bus or in queue are really big no nos. Like seriously, I think they'd flog you for jumping in a queue if they didn't have to apologise profusely afterwards.