Monday, July 25, 2011

things missed

Whenever I go somewhere new, I usually pine away for a handful of things in the States, but upon arrival, those things immediately become meaningless, and I wish I had appreciated the time abroad more instead of dwelling on home.  Doesn't everyone?
In perspective, I am doing rather well at living in the moment here in Oxford.  The excursions to Cardiff and Bristol (and most recently, to London) really help with this reality check, because each time I return, Oxford is "home."

A week from my homecoming to Seattle, I am on the precipice of my wish to be home.  I really adore lists, so here is what I miss from Washington.
  • My roommate Chloe, who is currently braving Summer Quarter alone
  • My apartment, which I sweated to set up before I left, and is waiting for me along with Chloe.  This includes the fantastic, brand-new mattress and fluffy duvet that is my bed.
  • My family, including my sister, who will be moving to Seattle with me in August, and also my fatty dog, Alex, who allegedly dug a hole through the laundry room floor in my family's absence from the house.
  • Warm, high-pressure showers.
  • Drinking tap water that is not ridiculously softened.
  • Having all of my wardrobe at my disposal.  I neglected to bring several pairs of high heels that would have been perfect for evening activities here in Britain, and agonize over it frequently.
  • Eating balanced meals on a particular schedule.
  • Jogging and swimming.
  • Making bracelets from cheap plastic beads.  It is my stress relief.  It was too impractical to bring along the beads on this trip, however.
  • The use of my iPhone.  I feel crippled without step-by-step Google Maps directions, precise bus schedules, and unlimited texting.
  • Buses that run regularly for reasonable fares.  The 5 here in Oxford has been most cruel to us.
  • Walking on the street without being mobbed by crowds.  Also, I miss the scarcity of EF students in Seattle.  (Just wait, as soon as we get home, we will seem to see them everywhere.)
  • Eating out for cheap.
  • Wall electrical outlets that I do not need a converter to access.
  • Regular internet access from a variety of locations.
  • Modern toilets and sturdy toilet seats.
Not included are most of the friends I have made this past year at University, as most of them are home for the summer so I would probably not have seen them much even if I had not gone abroad.

Yet I already have a list built in my head about things I will miss about Oxford.  That's the thing about a month-long stay: it's just long enough to get over the alienation period of culture shock, so that one begins to feel fond of everything.
  • British Accents.  I am pretty sure that everyone understands this one.
    • Especially the children's accents.  I have resolved already to raise any children I have in England.
  • Having things to do in the evening.  Seattle shuts down at 8pm unless one fancies a movie.
  • Sandwiches at Tesco/Sainsbury's.
  • My room at Herbert Close and living across from Kristin (with the shouting conversations that ensue.)
  • Double decker buses.
  • Cornmarket, High, and Broad Street
  • Walking past beautiful, ancient architecture on a daily basis.
  • The well-kept grass, even though I am not allowed to roll in it.
  • The way the clouds move faster here.
  • The sounds the kinds of birds make here.
  • That sheepdog that, every morning, tries to herd the groundskeeper's tractors.
  • Sweet, cheap, fresh blueberries and raspberries.
  • Meat pies, coleslaw with too much mayonaise, bacon on everything, WKD Blue and Iron Brew (never got to the Purple kind.)
  • Beautiful trees in the beautiful park.
  • Subways in London.
  • Frequent, fast, comfortable trains.
  • Well-dresssed, handsome youth.
  • The Union Jack.
  • Being able to actually wear high heels from time to time.
  • Punting and the clever ducks.
  • Cheap clothes at Primark.
  • Those children along Cumberland Road that always ask, "Are you American?!" as we pass.
  • Dubstep on the radio.
  • Britrock, namely, the Scholars.  I wish I could see them play another gig.
  • Harry Potter references.
  • Europop and techno at clubs -> Inna, Swedish House Mafia, Afrojack, etc.
Oh, now I've done it.  I think I will be in tears at Heathrow in a week.

No comments:

Post a Comment