I’m celebrating sixteen years in the US as of yesterday and just to prove it, I got homesick while I was in Seattle last week. Homesickness now and again and shows itself in many ways. It can be a desire to be in a certain place, a yearning for the familiar or just see old friends. This time, I had a mad craving for a pork pie after seeing them in an English shop outside of Seattle. The last time this happened, it was a couple of years ago It was all I could think about for days. The craving got so bad that I tracked down a company that would ship me one. And very lovely it was too. It was like being home…one bite at a time. And no I didn’t share it with anyone, not that anyone wanted any. Philistines!
I must admit certain foods make me homesick because I don’t have access to them. I weep nostalgically over pork pies, Christmas pudding, mum’s sherry trifle and fish and chips from a proper fish and chip shop just to name a few. Now I’m sure someone will pipe up and say I can get those things here, but I beg to differ. I submit to you that America is in capable of replicating fish and chips that you can get from a street corner chippie. In recent years, Julie and her mum have managed to make a pretty decent Xmas pudding and trifle, thanks to some coaching from my mum.
What’s weird is that these foods weren’t things I ate everyday back in the old country, but somehow I yearn for them now I don’t have access to them. I suppose this has something to do with a need for talismans in our lives. They are things that we hold on to for comfort and for reasons of identity. My personal identity rests on having a pork pie from time to time. That probably says that my identity isn’t all that strong. But that’s the problem with homesickness. It’s a disease. It makes you want weird things.
So does this mean I’m going to run back home. I don’t think so. I’ve been away too long. The problem is that I’m homesick for 1998. Too much has changed in the time I’ve been gone. Things have changed. People have gotten older. My favorite DJs are no longer playing tunes for the kids and are now propping up the midnight hour over at Radio Dad FM. Essentially, everything has moved on in my absence. I’m homesick for a time and place that no longer exists. It’s a reason why I haven’t been back to the UK in over five years. It’s a little disheartening to see that a country didn’t put itself on hold for you. How rude.
All this means I’m here to stay in the US of A. I like this place. And you seem to like me. Oddly enough, I like some of you people too, even if you are hampered by being American. And that seems like a pretty nice arrangement if you ask me. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to find out where I can get a sausage roll?