All good things must come to an end. This is what I keep reminding myself as the inevitable day of my departure for the United States draws near. When this hits newsstands, I’ll have exactly four full days left in the United Kingdom to give my final “cheers” to a city that, at first, was the unknown, then the misunderstood, and now, my well-loved stomping grounds.
I’m returning home to a land absent of such pleasures as afternoon tea breaks, red double decker buses and commercial-free BBC radio and television. As I re-assimilate to American culture, I’ll never again call my home country “the States” or toss my trash in a “rubbish bin.”
Street signs that are actually on the street rather than building sides, ordering a diet Coke instead of “Coca Cola Lite,” free bread baskets and ice water at meals – when you’re 3,000 miles from home, it’s the little things you miss and crave.
And though I look forward to returning to campus in the spring, I can’t forget that back in the land of the free, I’ll lose some of the liberties this brilliant city provides.
Last weekend I got piss drunk after guzzling an entire bottle of wine on the tube – but no matter what I tell them, the Draught Horse is still going to reject my ID until I (finally) turn 21 in March.
Even more disappointing, the convenience of some of the best public transportation in the world will no longer be at my fingertips.
As I’m sure you all agree, orange and blue were never my favorite colors either.
Some things aren’t all lost, though. The fashionista in me is going to miss the fabulous trends of Topshop, but at least I’ll always have H&M.
While I won’t be able to make my drunken pit stop at Tesco after a night out at the club, I know that Main Campus’ 7-Eleven and its delicious taquitos will satisfy my post-party munchies just as well.
I have a lot to show for my time here – my 13 new Facebook albums (not to mention a whole new wardrobe) speak for themselves. Still, those 780 pictures just aren’t enough to satisfy me.
While I’m looking forward to driving on the “right” side of the road and not having to work around a five-hour time difference just to talk to my mom, a part of me knows that I’ll be itching to return.
They weren’t born here, but Shakespeare, David Bowie, the Beatles and even Dracula found pleasure and made their livings in London – and with good reason, too.
As the saying goes, “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.” Dr. Samuel Johnson coined that back in 1777, and nearly 250 years later, it seems more relevant than ever.
I’m not sure if Ben Franklin ever said the same about Philadelphia, but since living as a tourist in London and having the time of my life as a result, I’m determined not to take for granted my remaining year and a half in the City of Brotherly Love.
Because, in the end, it doesn’t matter where you are, but what you do with those surroundings that counts. From Los Angeles to New York City and everything in between, I’m ready to see and embrace the country of my birth.
May God save the queen – but may God bless America.
Sammy Davis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.