With the amount of time I spent at home, I did what I usually do – think too much. Or maybe it isn’t a matter of thinking too much; that I have a 2nd home & traveled to my always-1st home gives me plenty of material to compare & contrast. I decided to compile a list of most of these thoughts for your reading pleasure. (Click here for part 1 and click here for part 2.)
13. I really just can’t with the TSA. Ever since 09.11.2001, the United States have been on an elevated terror alert. As a result, civil liberties have been slowly but surely eroded, and TSA is one of the avenues through which this occurs. Taking off shoes & belts & coats/jackets & hats, the inability to carry liquids over 100 ml. (3 oz.), fingerprinting, constant questioning….. I’m sick of it. When I went home on vacation, I remembered the reason I’m not fond of TSA: 3 different TSA agents questioned me 3 times and, with all the clothing & shoes I took off for the metal detectors, I should have just stripped butt-ass-naked. This is in spite of the fact that I have a U.S. passport and work visa. This is also in striking contrast to Australia, where I didn’t have to take off anything going into or coming out of the country. Maybe if the United States minded its….. Never mind, won’t even go there. Another complaint for another day. Next time I return home, I want to enroll in the global entry program to avoid all or most of this TSA bullshit.
14. I need to find at least 1 hobby to keep myself busy, especially since my 2 friends (co-worker & wife) are returning to the States for good in just a few days. I’ll miss them and I don’t want to fall into a long funk. I have other acquaintances/friends in & outside of work, but they’re married/partnered and have their own lives. I’ll keep looking for something affordable; hopefully I’ll find something soon – whether it be a book club, photography class, language class, some form of exercise, etc.
15. In keeping with #14, this will force me to meet other people. It’ll be hard because of my nature & age (it’s hard to make new friends as one gets older), but my only other option is staying in my house all the time. And while I don’t mind spending time at home alone, I’d rather not be a total recluse, especially during warmer months. (Side note: Have you ever taken a personality test? If so, what’s your personality type? And here’s some history behind it.)
16. Without going into too much detail, I know that I made my exit from my last job at the perfect time. While I don’t subscribe to any religion or deity, I know that the universe works things out in its own way sometimes.
17. I’m glad that I expatriated. While I miss some familiar comforts of home, there are other things that I can do without: damn annoying A-merry-can accents (except certain regional accents, like mine), American-centrism, racism/prejudice, fake diversity, the state of romantic relationships in my specific community (so sick & tired of that conversation), American poli-tricks & poli-trick-tians, chemical-laden & genetically modified foods….. and many more. England is nowhere near being a utopia, let me make it clear. But some of the things that cause concerns back home aren’t even a thought here because it just makes sense. In this country, pragmatism seems like the rule and not the exception.
18. It’s taken a while to get my house together. The move took a toll on me to the point that I neglected my house and myself. Thanks to my 2 friends (co-worker & wife), my house is not cluttered anymore and I’m going to keep it that way. It’s coming along slowly but surely; I just need a little more furniture, and some artwork (something like these beautiful pieces created by my colleague back home) for my bedroom & living room.
19. I’m done with direct debit in this country. I really just can’t with the banks here; even straight cash takes forever to clear here, and it causes problems when paying bills. I’m gonna pay all my bills on my own just like I did back home.
20. I’ve begun settling in & adjusting here. I’m beginning to feel at home. I hope that this is a signal of things to come. It’s good being back in my 2nd home.
My thoughts are many….. too many. But 3 parts is enough, don’t wanna bombard you. Until next time.