Sunday, July 30, 2006

Happy Day After?

Written July 5th, 2006:

When I was a kid, there was a woman who lived in a house on the dead end road (here in England they say, 'cul de sac' -- how French sounding!) behind my house. I was friends with her two sons. She used to say, "Happy Day After!" with so much enthusiasm, I used to have a similar reaction as I would to seeing a six-headed, purple cat. I would just look at her and not really know what to think. To this day, she remains the only person I ever heard say that. She used to say it after holidays and I am not sure if she did after birthdays, too. It was many years ago and I can't remember everything.
A little over an hour ago, it became the 5th of July, here in England, the day after. In America, it's still the 4th of July. Independence Day...a national holiday. Coming the day after my birthday, it always seemed connected to my birthday, for me. It seemed to symbolize summer. The summer holiday. Barbecues and fireworks. In England, they do fireworks in November, for Guy Fawkes Day, and at the stroke of midnight, when New Years Eve turns into New Years Day. So here, fireworks are associated with winter, while back home, in America, they are associated with summer. This 4th of July saw the Space Shuttle launch again, like a giant firework rocket...and, thankfully, it didn't explode like one. Holidays seem to be the time I miss being home the most. The last time I was in New York was two years ago, from the 1st of July to the 5th. Summer has always been my favorite season as well as my favorite time to be in New York. The 4th of July is a strange holiday to spend in Britain, as it symbolizes America's successful rebellion against British rule. There doesn't seem to be any hard feelings about that now, over here. For an American expat living abroad, it always seems a time to reflect on home. For those of you in America, still celebrating...Happy 4th of July. Over here, it was just another Tuesday. For me, it passed like my birthday the day before...quietly.


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