It being the weekend after the 4th of July, I’ve been thinking about Britain a lot. Maybe it’s been the reference of “Do the English have 4th of July” jokes to the whole historical significance of Independence Day and the notion of our previously minuscule English colonies morphing into the unabashed America we are now.
But these thoughts have been roaming my head for weeks. I blame the series of dreams I’ve been having about being back in Scotland and the scatter shot of news I get from friends who still live there.
I, by default, like to assume that when I’m given a blanket state, emotionally, physically, other, that it won’t apply to me. Before I moved abroad, I was warned about reverse culture shock and of course, I thought, “No way that’s going to happen.” To be fair, there were a lot of things that I thought would happen that didn’t.
All in all, the good, the bad, the somewhere in between, I don’t think I could take it back. I learned too much about myself, like the need to constantly be surrounding by new (and even difficult) situations. I get too bored otherwise.
Mostly, it’s those weird facts that stick with me. Like whenever I enter a public bathroom, I thank god for both toilet seat covers and paper towels. The British scoff at a clean toilet seat and the idea that those horrible beasts of hand dryers are what’s most efficient and clean. Or maybe they just don’t like paper.
I have a weird obsession for the right texture of scone (pronounced skon) and I dream of one day having a fishmonger again. I miss the strange pride I had in being able to tolerate wearing heels while walking on cobblestones and I miss the ever changing skies.
What I don’t miss is the horrible loneliness of when night hit and the strange acknowledgement that this would never be my home. For what it’s worth, maybe this is why I need to start celebrating the 4th of July.