Saturday, December 22, 2007

Nearly at Home, at Heathrow

The postings on this site ares my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.

Guiltily So

I'm struck by how at home I feel, just being somewhere western, even though it's not yet New Jersey. It's a guilty sort of feeling to be so relaxed in a way I haven't in six months. I don't want to be provincial, but it's refreshing not being the only one with an American accent, or not being the only one without an Indian accent.

And it's fun to hear an Israeli accent, too. I feel so, so much less self-conscious than I have this past half-year.

It's also a sweet feeling to be back in Heathrow, having succeeded at my assignment, rather than still being in Heathrow just prior to the start of it, being optimistic, but necessarily wondering how it would go. Now, I know how it went.

What I'm Looking Forward To in Chronological Order

  • Our house
  • Pat's and my bed
  • A long bath
  • Breakfast at our favorite diner with the Sunday "New York Times"
  • Mail review
  • Shoprite and Batampte half-sour pickles
  • Whole Foods and almond butter
  • Our furniture
  • Our neighbors
  • Our family and friends
  • Swimming at the YMHA
  • NYC
  • Synagogue
  • Getting my ears checked - routine checkup
  • A six-month teeth-cleaning at the dentist
  • TV, DVDs, movies
  • Car-shopping....

This posting is not as spiritual as I imagined it could be when I thought I'd spend time, blogging while waiting for our connection. Instead, I'm reduced to fantasizing about creature-comforts, and thinking of immediate ones, too, e.g., changing the head on my electric toothbrush, and running it under the tap to rinse it, for the first time in six months. I'm signing off to brush my teeth.


Anonymous said...

What I am looking forward to, in chronological order:
Being able to call you, Sarah and Pat without having to dial 011, or look up your number.
Seeing you and Pat - Christmas at Mom's???
Hugging you and Pat.
Talking to you and Pat in person!!!!!
Showing you the concert you missed on Facebook.
I forget how much we take for granted here, like drinkable tap water, finding yogurt in the grocery store fridge whenever we want it, no goats, sheep or cows in the road - at least not in the tri-state area. On the other hand, not having to deal with bank officials wearing Santa hats as of the day after Thanksgiving, piped-in Christmas music everywhere we turn, plastic blow-up creches in Carroll Gardens... Sometimes I even feel out of place in what is supposed to be my home. Longing is embedded in belonging, isn't it?

Love you,
Your middle big sister

Sarah Siegel said...

I love that! "Longing is embedded in belonging."

Another family member had said, "At least, in India, you don't hear Christmas music everywhere you go." It's true that I didn't hear it as of the day after Thanksgiving, which was not on anyone's radar, but rather by December, and particularly as we were leaving, there were Christmas decorations all over the place and Radio Indigo became as full of Christmas tunes as any U.S. pop station.

And whereas people came up to car windows, trying to sell boxes of tissues or magazines during the rest of the year, a number of them switched to selling red and white, felt Santa hats in December.

Seeing symbols of the holiday did not make me feel more at home...just as it didn't when I was in the States.

The longing to belong was accentuated for me, rather than diminished, by signs of Christmas in India.

And now, it's 5 am at the start of Christmas Eve, and I recall that with me, there's almost always a sense of longing to feel even more at home than I do, no matter where I am, no matter the circumstances.

Rachel said...

Good job you didn't hit Heathrow 24hrs later! It was ground to a halt with fog on Sunday. Can you imagine how awful that would have been to trying to get home?

Just catching up with your blog
Rachel (EAGLE)

Sarah Siegel said...

Wish we could have seen each other while I was in England, albeit for just a few hours. Thanks for visiting me here at least.