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Saturday, June 24, 2006 

Fortuitous

My life seems to be slowly but surely falling apart. Nothing is working out for me, and I am trying my very hardest to keep it together. One of the things that has been bothering me for a while, and I alluded to two posts ago, was that I missed Americans. The thought of this came to me last month, when I went out to Chelsea to meet a work mate's girlfriend, who is Australian, and her friends, who were all Australian. In fact they all grew up in Adelaide, and were now all here together; this most amazing network of support and social companionship for each other. And that made me realize that all nationalities seem to be represented here, all except Americans. Sometimes I feel like The Last Unicorn.

So imagine my surprise today when I run into one in the halls elevator while moving (they make us move rooms during the summer for no specific reason.) He was already in when I boarded and put on a great big smile and dove straight into moving small talk. His accent took me back, so I asked where he was from.

Him: Washington, D.C. actually.
Me: No way! You're never going to guess were I'm from!
Him: D.C.! That's cool!
Me: Yea I grew up in Bowie, Maryland.
Him: Ahaha! I live in Bowie, Maryland!
Me: No way!
Him: Yes! I have a house in Pointer Ridge!
Me: Guess which part of Bowie I'm from!
Him: Pointer Ridge!!
Me: My folks live in the Tall Oaks neighborhood!
Him: Oh man! My name's Tim, let's hang out!

So how funny is that. I never would have dreamed to be in the UK and meet some one from the P-section of Bowie. So I may potentially have an American mate after all. I think that might be so nice.

The thing I've learned about living abroad is that homesickness never really seems to go away. It might ebb or take other forms, but it always manages to loom somehow. It's particularly acute right now, and I hate it.

I feel for you! I imagine I'll be the same when I move to London in the next six months. If you're still there, I'll hang out with you. Maybe you can show me how the blasted tube works!

May we dare hope that you'll consider gracing America's shores again one day? It looked for a long time that you were due to become a permanent ex-pat. The odds of meeting a Bowie-ite from Pointer Ridge in KC elevator (sorry, lift) in London is spooky. God either wants you to stay or come home -- not sure which . . .

Popster

Hi there - I'm a fellow American in London and I saw your blog on A Novelist's blog (she links to mine as well...) I saw that you went to NCSU - as in North Carolina State Univ? If so, chalk this up as another small world encounter as I'm from Raleigh, NC. Anyway, just wanted to say hi :)

haha, you said P-Section... that brings back such memories of high school parties in Bowie!

I can confirm, homesickness never goes away. The holidays are often the worst because of the family reunions and whatnot going on back home. Mind you, it's not bad enough that I want to actually travel home during that period, but melancholy does set in. It's good to hear you found someone from back home to hang with.

It does get better I promise. Hang in there.
And keep blogging - it is a good form of communication and distraction if you get down
Like the site
Liz
a NY'er in London

Hi, Sweetie,
Enjoy yourself in the UK. I am an old fart used to live in S section Bowie, MD 'til I got married 2nd time. Rotten bugger took me for $500,000 in ten years (just the principal)and I was thrown out of my own home after he tried to murder me. Enjoy yourself dear!!! I am pushing 71, in ill health but may be joining my stepfather (he's 89) when he goes to China in the future!!!!!!

I think that is the best comment I have ever read.

'The thing I've learned about living abroad is that homesickness never really seems to go away. It might ebb or take other forms'

that is SO true
I've been here nearly 5 years and I still get homesick once & awhile
I think I'm to the point now where I don't really miss America anymore, I just miss my fam & friends

:)

I empathize with you. I find that when you particiapte in FIAB (full immersion among Brits) program, homesickness can hit hard. When I spend enough time with fellow Americans, drop enough "yeah dude" and appropriately placed and accented "f yeah"'s, it really pulls me through the day.

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