09.06.2004 | 1
back home are always telling me how jealous they are that for the next
couple of years, I get to live in Scotland.
For most Americans, Scotlandís a postcard-perfect picture of
quaint romance, all castles and kilts and moody green hills. ďYouíre
soooo lucky!Ē they squeal. And I know theyíre right. So Iím not
asking you to whip out the violins when I whisper: Iím feeling a bit
blue out here.
a little embarrassed to admit this, because I know how fortunate I am to
have this life of mine, and I donít want to be one of those lame
people who canít cope with anything other than what they already know.
But everything feels strange. I feel strange. And I canít help
wondering, is this the fun Iím supposed to be having?
thing is, thereís a reason more Americans donít pick up and move out
of that great big olí country we call home: moving abroad is a heck of
a lot of work, with just a lilí bit of scary thrown in for good
measure. Iím not saying itís a good enough reason to avoid ever
leaving home, but itís true nonetheless.
And right now, a couple of weeks into my two year stint in
Edinburgh, Iím feeling a little lost.
get me wrong: Edinburgh is an utterly charming city. I love the way its
cobblestone streets, big brooding castle, and fairy-tale-adorable old
stone buildings play backdrop to just about every amenity you could ask
for in modern-day life (barring free wi-fi Ė a convenience Iím
sorely missing right now, as I shell out £1.50 an hour for the
privilege of getting connected to the outside world). Thereís tons to
see and plenty to do, and despite how much everyone grumbles about the
weather, it's not nearly as beastly as one might imagine. People are
genuinely kind, and funny, and helpful. This is a very likable city.
Only one problem: itís not home.
be honest, Iím not sure where home is for me right now. Itís sort of
Tucson, the desert town I lived in for the past six years; itís sort
of Boston, where I grew up and went to school. And itís kinda neither
of those places too. But what itís definitely not is where I am right
now, in a city thatís a vast ocean away from just about everyone I
know, where Iím constantly asking idiotic questions because Iím
mystified by the way things actually work Ďround these parts.
I had the following brilliant intellectual debate with a girl stocking
shelves at the supermarket.