Today it hit me.
I live in the U.S of A. Not England. The place where a good cup of tea is on tap; where shop assistants don’t gush friendly chit chat at you when you walk through the shop door, where I can get a pint of London Pride on almost every corner. And, where my beloved friends and family reside.
Image source – Stamford Skyline
This morning I got up, just like the last four mornings in our new home, went to the gym (still on the health kick) and sat in the car while hubby drove us to work. Once we drop him off, I take the car and because I can’t work until my work permit is processed, I have a free day to do as I please.
Yesterday it was 30 degrees, so I dressed in preparation for scorching summer temperatures. Today it’s 20 degrees. I was cold.
I went into a coffee shop on Greenwich Avenue and grabbed a coffee, just like I have many times before when we visited CT 18 months ago. I was sure I’d feel at home there.
As I sat and got on with some Twitter updates and answering a few emails, I heard the voice of a London woman chatting with her American friend. Suddenly I was back in Nero in my homeland Canary Wharf. I listened for a while, not hearing what she was saying, just absorbing the subtle tones of the accent I’ve grown to love so much.
I wondered how after only five days this could have such an impact on me. I realised this was just the last in a stream of things that had contributed to the culture shock I felt at that moment. The trips to the supermarket where I’d spend hours staring at the shelves wondering what to buy. The frequent times I’d got lost driving around the unfamiliar roads, hoping I would pick the right side to drive on. The fear of knowing I’d have to make a whole set of new friends if I were to settle in this alien town.
Right now, I’m sat on the couch in what I can only describe as a frozen state. I have butterflies in my belly; part excitement, part fear for what to do next.
I know this will pass and, just like London became all those years ago, this too will feel like home, but right now, I really fancy a big hug and a pint of London Pride with my favourite people.