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Homeward-Bound: The Incredible Journey

by Drew J Jones Sun Jan 28th, 2007 at 07:22:13 PM EST

Not sure why I'm using movie titles for diaries lately....

At the request of my dear friend (and fellow smokers' advocate), Jerome, a diary on why I'm leaving Europe.

It's heart-breaking, to be sure.  I had high hopes -- perhaps too high -- of falling in love with England, and never wanting to leave.  But it is nonetheless the case that, as I mentioned in tonight's Open Thread, I simply miss being in America.  That is not to take away anything from Europe.  Quite the contrary, living here has been wonderful.  And, along the way, in addition to having the privilege of meeting Miguel, Barbara and (ET's) Helen, I had the privilege of meeting two people -- Helen Oginsky and Richard Smith (thus completing the shout out, as the blackfolk say) -- who are, without question, two of the greatest one could hope for.

But, also as I said, while I deeply regret all of the things I didn't do and didn't say, it's time to move on.  I'm going to (hopefully) be starting a business that will provide me with a ton of material to write on -- not about the business, in particular, but about a few concepts I've come to recognize over the last four years, as we've watched firsthand the revolution that has taken place in our communications, cultures and politics.  (I wouldn't be a proper cheerleader if I didn't plug Joe Trippi's book, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: Democracy, the Internet & the Overthrow of Everything, here.)  It's exciting stuff, especially as an economist.  And, as any economist can tell you, we're not the most excitable group on Earth.  And I'm going to be moving to Atlanta to work in the meantime.

And, with all that said, adieu Europa.


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Okay, due apologies, Jerome.  "Project" was a bit strong a word, being a uncreative little shit that I am.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Jan 28th, 2007 at 07:29:01 PM EST
If you keep conflating England with Europe you are going to get yourself banned ;-)

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jan 29th, 2007 at 04:10:38 AM EST
Well, to be fair, y'all did let the English into the EU.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Jan 29th, 2007 at 04:48:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That was in the early 70's. Neither them nor us have been happy about it since the 1980's.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jan 29th, 2007 at 04:51:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
who is "us"?

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Jan 29th, 2007 at 04:55:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Us" includes France after they recovered from the shock of De Gaulle's death.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jan 29th, 2007 at 05:02:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Reminded of the Lone Ranger joke.

Lone Ranger and Tonto surrounded by Indians who are looking pretty angry.

Lone Ranger:

"Tonto, we're surrounded by Indians: what we gonna do?"

Tonto:

"What do you mean, "we", White Man?"

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Mon Jan 29th, 2007 at 05:52:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah, the "Come on, it will the '70s; people were experimenting" excuse.  Love it.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Jan 29th, 2007 at 05:07:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well there are a proportion of us who are going to have to be ejected forcefully by the bouncers if they try and make us leave.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Jan 29th, 2007 at 08:46:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't you live in Wales? There's this guy called Cameron volunteering for the job of bouncer.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jan 29th, 2007 at 08:48:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is one of the reasons I dread the Scots escaping, it will tie the rest of us under the control of the blue hordes of Westminster, The party of spivs and bouncers isn't what we really need.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Jan 29th, 2007 at 01:47:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We want the inside dirt, not just the PR version!

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Jan 29th, 2007 at 04:53:44 AM EST
Always looking for dirt on the Anglos, eh? ;)  Fair enough, but gotta catch my cab, so it will have to wait until I get to the hotel, which I think (hope/pray) has broadband this time.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Jan 29th, 2007 at 05:11:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I posted this over in the Open Thread, but in case you didn't see it:

Hey Drew! Just want to wish you well! And sorry to hear that it just didn't sort out for you...but then, good that you can see that and move forward. Funny, but I have lived here in Europe almost 3 years now, and only just in the last month or so have I really started to miss home/friends/etc. I have had a diary brewing in me about it all...which I will get to at some point...but anyway, I can nderstand your feelings. Do keep in touch...and good luck on your next endeavors!!

I must admit, as migeru sugested, that my feelings about the US have definitely changed towards optimism since the 2006 elections...though my own feelings are also colored by frustration about work here too. I will be keen to hear more about the work you will be getting into...good luck, man!!

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia

by whataboutbob on Mon Jan 29th, 2007 at 05:33:56 AM EST
It's the little things that matter. One little thing we, who have lived away hear too infrequently is "welcome home."  In 35 years of travelling and living abroad, I can recall only once being welcomed home (other than by family), and that by an exceptional immigration officer.  I will never forget that little act of thoughtfulness.

So, welcome home Mr. Jones.  I'm happy to have you back.

I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears

by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Mon Jan 29th, 2007 at 12:29:22 PM EST
In 35 years of travelling and living abroad, I can recall only once being welcomed home (other than by family), and that by an exceptional immigration officer.

You know what.  For all the bad reputation U.S. customs/immigration has (often deservedly so), I totally agree: when that officer flips through your passport, puts the stamp in it, and returns it to you with a "Welcome home," it does make you feel good.

Good luck with your new venture State-side, Drew.

I encourage you to go shopping more. -- George W. Bush

by marco on Tue Jan 30th, 2007 at 12:27:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
and be well.

You sound similarly to how I felt when I left the island in 2004. Had a good time, founds lots of friends and great people, enjoyed it where I could, left nevertheless in low spirits and with hopes quenched. I better leave it at that - one of those long stories where one learns about Life.

Have a safe journey, and your new future plans sound very promising and worth sharing here. Best of luck.

by Nomad on Mon Jan 29th, 2007 at 04:13:35 PM EST
Talking about smoking, did you see the op-ed in Sunday's NYT calling for a ban on nicotine: Unsafe at Any Level

I think it was Jerome who suggested that talk by people about the potential bad effects of a ban on cigarettes was just a straw man because nobody was actually suggesting it? This is not the first time I've seen people involved in the anti-smoking movement talking about a ban.

by MarekNYC on Mon Jan 29th, 2007 at 04:19:58 PM EST
Managed to persuade Drew that sitting in his hotel all evening near Gatwick would be less fun I suggested I run him around Brighton for the evening.

A good time was had, starting in the Nelson and it's fine Harveys. Moving on to the Basketmakers for Gales and a pub dinner.

I then showed him the marvellous folly that is Brighton Pavillion, an Indian fantasy temple dating from the early 19th century. http://www.royalpavilion.org.uk/

Then we went around the original village streets of Brightenhelm, aka the Laines. A series of very narrow passages with lots of interesting small shops. Finished the night in the Evening Star where we ran into my old friend Roy and his new dog and Drew found a new favourite beer, Oatmeal stout.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Jan 30th, 2007 at 06:24:01 AM EST


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