So it is not surprise to readers of this blog that I'm struggling a bit getting used to things. Much though I may joke about the milk in bags and meat in grams, I have been feeling a bit down and a bit lonely. I miss my husband and I miss my friends. Moving to a new country is hard, even if that country is, apparently, called the hat of the country you used to live in. (I found out tonight that people in Britain and Europe call Canada the U.S.A's hat-- there is something just great about that.)
To assuage my loneliness and to preempt my tendency to wallow in self pity, I made a new rule for myself starting this week: that every day, I have to spend 1-2 hours outside of the apartment, unrelated to work or school obligations. It can be to go shopping, it can be to knit, it can be to work out, it can be (as I did tonight) to relocate my studying from my sofa to a Coffee Culture. But I have to go out and be open to talking to new people.
So tonight, I was at Coffee Culture, drinking my coffee and reading Kant's The Critic of Judgement, I noticed a guy with a John McCain bobble head. Now I, in my liberal haze, assumed that anyone who would own such a thing would only have it in irony. This is sort of what it looked like, although it was of a younger McCain in a flight suit:
Yeah, pretty silly, right? The dude wasn't being ironic at all-- he loves McCain and he loves Bush. As opposite me politically as a guy can be, but he invited me over to the table where he and a fairly large group of guys were gathering after having a more organized discussion at the library across the street. So there were all sorts-- I was the only American, but not the only liberal. There was an older man who was wearing a button that said "Abolish Personal Property," and a bunch of other men. I met London's town crier, who also maintains a list of over 2000 people that he calls on their birthdays. I'm on his list now.
I got to talk to grown ups about something other than music or music faculty gossip for most of an hour. It was awesome. It was a free exchange of ideas, it was surprisingly like what I used to get out of knitting group. (I'm still trying to find the knitters in London. I've found the one yarn shop I visited dissapointing. Maybe I'll get to the other that's actually in town over the weekend with Sally.) They invited me to join their formal discussion next month (apparently they meet on the last Monday of the month to discuss philosophy and politics and whatever else they find interesting) and then the informal event (like what I crashed tonight) after.
So the act of faith that was leaving the house was rewarded. I'm not saying I have made friends, but I did get to spend the evening with people who saw me. And I feel more like I might belong here, in my own way.