Lines from “An Englishman in New York” swirl about my mind and the Geertzian invitation to “make the familiar strange” beckons with every “pardon” and “look left” written in yellow paint at pedestrian crossings. And with each passing minute in this lovely city I am struck by how much like “home” it feels. It was nearly six years before I began to view New York as a home, and while I’ve spent collectively less then two months in this town over the past 20 years, there’s always been a sense of comfort here — a form of comfort that is different than the sense of general adaptability I pride myself on being able to conjure up while visiting various lands. This is comfort of the long-term variety.
Thanks to Kate’s blog, I’ve learned about George Mikes, a Jewish reporter who came to London for a short visit but stayed for a lifetime — and I have been enjoying immensely his musings on English life chronicled in part in How to be an alien. I’m practically British according to Mikes’ assertions about the Brits’ penchant for consuming the hot stuff all day and night long, although I’m a walking stick and one pair of purple shoes short of fully fitting into his image of the Bloomsbury intellectual. But I’m here for several more weeks so there’s hope yet!
Today marks the second part of this overseas adventure. Yesterday I rode the tube to Heathrow to bid farewell to my trusty travel companion, and on the way back snapped a few pics with my ipad of the snow-covered suburbs.
I got off the tube a few stops early and traipsing home via a few streets that were new to me. Thus begins two months of keeping myself entertained. On the docket: meandering walks, visits to youth theater programs, tucked away afternoon teas, and seminars based on the book that will hopefully be more underway than its current state. To wit, I am re-instituting my Nanowrimo schedule of writing many words every day and heeding my own writing advice. Because the days, they wait for no one.