So I'm coming to the end of my annual trip to the UK. The menfolk have gone today and I have a few more days on my own.
Every year there are more and more things in the UK that are "unfamiliar" to me, making me wonder just exactly where I belong these days. I have lived in the USA for 23 years, 22 of those being in Chicago. That's the longest period I have ever lived anywhere, but I don't usually call it home. We have no family there and I could leave it tomorrow. The kids were all born there however, so I have a feeling Chicago will always be in my life, even if I don't live there.
I always feel like I'm coming home when I land in the UK. I talk like everyone else, I know the customs, the unwritten rules etc. But more and more of it is new to me. This year I successfully managed to put my pound coin in the supermarket trolley (I usually can't figure out what to do and end up just grabbing a basket). However, I still don't know what the "red button" on the TV remote control is for, and I still don't have a credit card with a chip and pin in it, making me stand out like a sore thumb. The other day, I handed over my credit card and chatted to a sales assistant quite amiably; she then asked me for my passport. I was shocked. Did I sound American to her? Surely not. She explained that she'd clocked my credit card as "not English" and followed "tourist procedures". The experience has left me a little wobbly to say the least.
I'm getting on the plane on Friday, but where am I going?......