Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A Farewell to Arms... and other things!

I wrote this before I left Houston last month:

Things I’ll  miss when I leave Texas

I will miss Texas! Texas is a crazy place. My first impression of Texas was big, hot and scary! I have grown to love this place. I love that it behaves like and believes it’s a Republic. I wish I could wave St George’s flag with the same courage and patriotism.  I love (and fear) their absurd attitude to guns and Conservatives (with a massive capital C) and religion! I don’t agree with any of it but I admire their passion!

I will miss road kill! I have seen some incredible animals up close even if they were, regrettably, dead. Possums, skunks, deer, armadillos…. All weird and wonderful

Hummingbirds! One of my favourite things last summer was watching the hummingbirds, tiny, like fat bumblebees! Sweden is too cold for hummingbirds. That makes me feel very sad!

I shall actually miss the critters! It is easy to say I will miss the weather but there is a lot of nastiness that goes with hot humid weather so to show how much I’ll miss the weather I have to embrace all that goes with it! I will miss the sound of the kamikaze dune bugs that plop into the pool and splat against the windows at night and the clever little frogs that stick to the windows waiting for them.

Having a tan! I love having a tan! I may have grown a muffin top in America but even rolls of fat look better tanned! I am going from the sublime to the ridiculous! From 23°C in January, getting sunburned in sunny Sugar land to -23°C in Sweden, where there is no sun, for 6 months! …Maybe blue is the new brown!

The dang time difference. I will miss it! While I might feel lonely at wine o’ clock because everyone back home is asleep when I want to chat, glass of wine in hand, I have loved the drunken calls I have received in the middle of the day….
I haven’t appreciated the early morning ones though when people have forgotten the time difference!

I will miss having a pool! I really do appreciate how lucky I’ve been to live in a house with its own 9ft deep swimming pool in the back garden. I grew up on a shitty council estate and we had to share our bath water on a Sunday! I know how far I’ve come! You can take the girl out of Kings Norton!

I shall miss my ex-pat friends. I know someone who wrote a book (actually wrote a book and got it published FFS!) and I remember him saying something about wearing the same rock T-shirt gave you affinity with the other wearers. This might work at rock concerts but it doesn’t automatically work in America with Brits. Some Brits are americanised in the way that when Americans say ‘have a nice day’ they wouldn’t give you the time of day if you were having a shitty one. Some Brits speak to you initially because you have a British accent but then, just like the American wives of Azalea Lane, want to see if your saucepans are the right brand before they would ever dream of inviting you to dinner and even then, just like Americans, the evening would be over by 9pm. Some expats are a little like magpies… making themselves cosy in whatever nest has the shiniest things! Way too transient! My initial experiences of expats made me wary, and lonely!
In Sugar Land I had the good fortune to meet an amazing bunch (everything collective in America is a ‘bunch’) of expat ladies who have been all over the world and recognize that the short and transient nature of your stay somewhere makes it more important to embrace each other completely. They would do anything for me and for each other. I have laughed and cried with them, learned new skills (yes! I did make quilts!) and had such good fun. The best of times. Thank you! I am going to miss them dearly!

My blog! I have so enjoyed writing about my weird and wonderful experiences in America. The more depressed, angry or horrified I became, the funnier the blogs! I've been happy for months and the result has been bloggers block! My American blog will be something for me to look back on in years to come and marvel that it did really happen, to me, and it wasn't just some very peculiar dream!

I’m sat looking out across a frozen lake in sub zero temperatures, missing all of those things so much more than I ever thought I would. I couldn't be further away from Texas!  On the plus side I can see that weird and wonderful might be the order of the day again  here in Sweden, along with horror and depression! After finally finding a home in Texas, I am certainly once more a stranger in a strange land! I feel a blog coming on!

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