(Originally posted on my MySpace blog on 23 Jan 07.)
Here we are. Almost a year after we received word of our orders, we're finally in England. It's chilly and cold and gray, just like I expected. I spent the two hour bus ride from Gatwick thrilled with the adorable houses along the country side.
Our arrival at Mildenhall was a little disappointing. The TLFs (military hotel) that we're staying in are a total downgrade from…well, any other TLFs I've stayed in. Instead of a kitchenette and dining room that I'm accustomed to, we have a microwave and mini-fridge. It's bizarre that they think we can cook ourselves meals in a microwave for up to 30 days while house hunting.
Even more disappointing is how difficult it is to access the internet – and how spotty the connection can be. If I'm online far less and don't respond to messages, that's why. (Let's be honest, it's probably a good thing. I'm such an internet junky.)
Tom spent this morning in-processing with his unit. This afternoon we attended a safety seminar on driving in England. It makes me nervous to think about it. I have to admit there were a few times on the bus from the airport when I'd look out and see a car coming from what I remember to be the wrong side, and my heart would start pounding…until I realized what side we were on. It'll take some getting used to, that's for sure!
What's most surprising to me, though, is how homesick I've been. I really didn't anticipate being emotional about leaving my family and friends back home since I haven't lived there in more than two years anyway. The problem, I think, is that for right now, we're very isolated. We don't have a home yet, therefore, no phone. I've already mentioned the disappointing internet connection. I keep thinking of things I'd love to tell my family and friends, but I can't.
It's also kind of weird to have no car. I don't mind walking around base, but it'd be nice to shoot off base and see some of the area. Not that I can yet. I haven't passed the permit test. But it makes me feel young and slightly helpless to have no transportation and no steady means of communication.
It also makes me realized how spoiled I am. I'm reminded of how difficult it was to stay in touch even 20 years ago. I've become dependent on my cell phone and email. This is probably a good challenge for me, but it's new and uncomfortable, and quite frankly, it makes me sad. I just MISS everyone. Especially my family.
But these are all temporary woes. We meet with housing tomorrow and will start that hunt this week. We're looking for a little beater car to get us around town. And if I can ever get a decent internet connection, I'll start looking for a decent job. In a month or two, I hope everything's kind of fallen into place. It'll be easier to enjoy all the incredible surroundings if I have a place to lay my head and a way to stay in touch with everyone.