Saturday, June 4, 2011

Far From Home

Time has a funny way of slipping by unnoticed. Your waistline spreads and your hair recedes, leaving you looking very different from how you feel on the inside. My head says 25, my body screams 40 something. Even stranger to me is that I have now spent more years living in other countries (Canada and USA) than I did in my homeland of Scotland. The upside of living abroad is that you come off looking and sounding far more exotic than you actually are. The negatives tend to be a little more grating on the nerves.

Number one on the downside is the complete inability of some people to understand a single word you say, this despite the fact you are both speaking English. People have difficulty understanding simple words like bird, butter, and Constantinople, not to mention thinking my name is Joe rather than John. I avoid the telephone like the plague as the simple task of ordering a medium cheese pizza turn into a marathon conversation that screams for the Rosetta Stone, or UN intervention. It's when people say, "speak English", that makes me really bristle. Before you utter this little gem, pause for as moment and think about how old my country is compared to yours......who was speaking English first? I am doing it properly, it is you who are the marble mouth, pox-marked jolthead.

Living far from your native land also brings on a cokehead like craving for food and drink from home. More than once I have found myself face down on the floor of the nearby British shop, covered in delicious sweeties, trembling furiously and hollering, "give me what I need daddy." Sure, you can find some of your favorites, but there is always that elusive thing or two that you can never have. A decent serving of fish and chips ranks highest on my list. There is nothing like a grease soaked bag of chips, a soggy piece of cheap ass fish, wrapped in newspaper and served with a bottle of Irn-Bru (Scottish soda) to wash it all down. I swear if perfume makers sold a white vinegar fragrance, I'd be on it in a shot. Beer also doesn't quite live up to expectations, and I would sooner drink my own urine than swallow a single gulp of Budweiser. Why do you think Bear Grylls is so keen to gulp down his piss during his exotic adventures?

I am not saying that it's been all bad. My kids are Canadian, and the beer up there came close. The weather here is fantastic, and my wife represents all that is good about the US. Still, there are those moments, few and far between now, when I wanna slap on my red slippers, click my heels, and exclaim that there is no place like home.........even if it is just a 10 minute trip back to get a fish supper.


Jyoti Mishra said...

very true... there is no place like home.
Although I've never been away for more than 15 days, but those few days made me realize that the home is heaven.

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