Independence of a Different Sort

Wallet

I'm not this bad-- I mean, I don't use rubberbands, but you get the picture...

Despite having spent yesterday listing the reasons why America should not have declared its independence from Great Britain, I think it’s time for this particular American to do just that.

Shall I explain?

As many of you know, I’ve spent several years in the UK— formative years, adult years, years during which I drank more than I ever had before, danced more than I ever had before, dated more than I ever had before (at least until the launch of my “experiment”) and generally fell in love with all things British.

(Except for the food; I still don’t get the fascination with fish-n-chips or mushy peas but perhaps they’re an acquired taste.)

Nonetheless, I’ve been back in Philadelphia for nineteen months now.  A full year and a half—and until yesterday I was still carrying around my NHS card, my Wandsworth Library card, my Café Nero Loyalty Card and my T-Mobile pay-as-you-go top-up card.  The mobile phone belonging to said card was in the top drawer of my desk, along with my passport, my US/UK electric converter, a map of the London Underground and envelope full of British Pounds and Euros, ready to go at a moment’s notice.

No wonder I could never find my stapler.  Or my sticky tabs or all of those normal things that ought to occupy the top drawer of one’s desk.

No wonder my wallet weighs approximately seven pounds—and no wonder I found myself sans debit card the last time I went to the health food shop on 4th Street: I’d left my wallet at home because it was too heavy and even though I thought I’d grabbed my debit card before I left, I hadn’t.

I used to spend hours (and I do mean hours) lying on my bed and sobbing about the injustices of the UK Boarder Control.  I spent months agonizing over the visa renewal process but in the end, I never even bothered to submit an application.  Who knows why—I’ve long since given up trying to answer such questions—but it would seem that it’s time to buy a new wallet and get a move on with this life, on this side of the pond.

Because seriously, who wants to be that girl who spends all her time lamenting London?  And more importantly, who wants to listen to her? (Or lug around her ton-of-bricks wallet?)  Not me.

I could have stayed in London.

I could have returned for my PhD by now.

But for some reason, I’m still in Philadelphia with no immediate plans to leave.  In fact, I’m getting further and further entrenched and loathe though I am to admit this, there are days when I am almost… happy.

4 Responses to “Independence of a Different Sort”

  1. Landlord

    Wow, you’ve kept this under your hat pretty well…although I know you well enough to know that is “today’s thought”…LOL Glad you are finding some happiness here 😉

    Reply
  2. Zak

    So, can I ask a silly question? What is it – and I know you listed some in the past – that you love about the UK?

    Having moved from DC almost four years ago, I find myself wishing sometimes I was still there. There was so much I miss, friends and attractions and opportunities, etc. And when I snap out of it and realize that although JAX is no DC, JAX has provided opportunities I only dreamed about in DC, and so I find myself wishing for what I had only because it was familiar. The grass is always greener, I suppose…

    Reply
  3. Lost in France

    As a gross generalisation, most Americans, I know, love the history that the UK has. The traditions. The other plus is you can get all of this in a common language.

    Another aspect that, has been commented on are that things are just so closed together, so it is easy to get from A to B.

    And of course us, Brits, are just great people.

    However in Kat’s case I thing her family may well just trump all of that, Not that she would want them to know it.

    Reply
  4. Debbie

    As one who is on the same page on all things UK, and has an open invitation in the form of a PhD acceptance letter – but not the $$$ to go with it, I say the need to just be happy in “this life” as you put it, is a good thing.
    No worries…the day WILL come…if only just for a visit.

    Reply

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