By Kat Richter
Exactly one year ago, I dragged the soggy remains of my life in
In truth, it was my boyfriend who did most of the dragging and for the sake of my impending flight to
Most people look forward to going home after a year and a half abroad. Home is normal food, old friends, your own bed, currency that makes sense, jokes in which you actually get the punch line and standard units of measurement (try following a recipe that calls for "125g light muscovado sugar" and "250ml double cream" and you'll understand what I'm talking about). Having spent the better part of my adult life either in Europe or wishing I was in Europe, however, I was not "most people."
That's not to say that I wasn't anxious to see my family, or that I didn't enjoy the year I spent in Philadelphia between college and grad school, because I did--especially Center City Sips and Friday nights at the Art Museum.
Nor is that to say that I haven't enjoyed my most recent year in
But I had fallen in love during my time abroad, not necessarily with the boy who was, 12 months ago, seated beside me on the tube, but with
"If Obama doesn't win the election," I regularly threatened my parents, "I'm never coming home."
But Obama did win, I completed my MA and my student visa eventually ran out. It didn't matter that I finished at the top of my class, that I'd fallen in love with the jazz clubs of
Given my penchant for drama at the best of times, I arrived at Heathrow with trails of mascara already streaming down my face.
"You'll be back soon," my boyfriend whispered, steering me towards the security check point.
"I know," I whispered back, blowing my nose for the sixth time, but I wasn't so sure. I had come to regard
But it's been a year now. My
I still carry my Barclay's Debit Card around in my wallet like some broken hearted lover clinging to the material remains of her past affairs but I no longer feel like I'm "cheating" on London just because the Philadelphia skyline--and the slightly-less-than-sober Mummer's practicing their routines beneath I-95-- now brings a smile to my face.
It's a strange business, living with one foot in the
I still get nostalgic every time I hear and English accent but after a year of living my very own initially-reluctant tale of two cities, I have finally concluded that polygamy, so far as metropolises are concerned, is perfectly acceptable.