September 2000

Well it has been a very interesting month. As of yesterday I’ve been in the US for three weeks. It feels like a lot longer. That’s not a bad thing. I think it’s just a sign that I’ve adjusted my new situation. I did feel really homesick on the second day I was here. And I only felt worse when I spoke to my mom over the phone. It’s not the first time I’ve been so far from home; when I was eight my parents sent me to live with my grandparents in another country and I remember the first night I was there I cried to my mom over the phone that I wanted to go home. I would not ‘go home’ for two years.

It’s actually quite interesting that both times I felt really homesick in my life have followed plane rides. The worst part of a flight for me is just after take off, when the plane is tilted at an angle and still gaining altitude. I had to avoid looking out of the window because it only increased the unpleasant feeling of having nothing under you. I mean obviously the plane is directly supporting you, but it doesn’t feel like that, at least for me. It isn’t a huge stretch of the imagination to see the connection between feeling like you have no support on the plane and the feeling you get being alone in a not-entirely-familiar country thousands of miles from the place you call home.

To be perfectly honest, it’s not that different here. The main thing that I’ve had to get used to is the sheer inadequacy of the public transportation system. The only bus that I can rely on is the campus bus. But I still have to take a taxi into town to catch it (I could walk but it would take a while).

One interesting thing I’ve noticed about they way I feel is that I don’t really have the ‘O my God I’m standing on my own two feet’ feeling. It could be because in order to get that feeling I’d have to have done this two years ago, or it could be because I already got this feeling last September when I started college (has it really been a year?).

It’s turned out to be more difficult than I thought to meet people. This is a very big place and most people (including members of my research team) are on holiday. As a result I’ve fallen into a routine which does not include partying every night (but there’s still plenty of time to change that.)

One nice thing that happened was that as a result of writing for Oasis I was contacted by a nice guy who lives in New York. It’s not incredibly far from where I am so at some point I’ll be able to take him up on his kind offer to show me the sights. The hard part seems to be just finding the time to get together. Hopefully I’ll have visited New York by the time you read this.

One thing I definitely like in the US is getting to see all new shows before my friends across the pond. I watched the first of the ‘new economy’ shows on Tuesday, ‘Bull’. I’ve got to say I like it and am definitely interested in seeing how the story unfolds.

Well I could go on, but I think I’ll stop here. Sorry if this column seems a little disjointed, I guess it’s just a reflection of my current state of mind. I promise next month will be much better.

Enjoy your summer!


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