...I was waking up, alone in pull-out sofa bed, in a guest room with my luggage exploded around me. It was my first full day in Doncaster. I had never been in the UK before, and the morning sounds (lounge door opening and closing, conversation, snippets of late morning television coming from downstairs) were coaxing me out of my dreams. I could smell coffee. I was jetlagged and felt as if I were floating somewhere between one time zone and the next, and felt the rush of reality: my home was somewhere thousands of miles behind me, way back West. I'd never been so far from home. I was in England now. This was a visit, though, and I was young, just twenty-one, and I had no idea that two years from now I'd be moving to England - settling in that very house for a time - permanently.
I went downstairs. Dave was there and so were his parents, welcoming me back to the land of the living (it was a long flight from Indianapolis via Newark via Atlanta to Manchester) and in my blissful confusion I didn't realize I'd lost a day. From travelling east. It was like I had gone back in time in another life. It was cloudy outside.
Another first: talking was strange because my accent didn't fit in.
While I am a "cheerful, genuine person," as some of my friends and colleagues have described me, I am not a morning person. My addled brain didn't know what time it was, though, so I accepted the proffered cup of coffee (warmth, caffeinated goodness) and was brought back down to the here and the now.
This will be an edifying visit. I would learn a lot about English history and British life and culture (with pictures to prove it), but I think I would learn more about myself than anything else.
Whitby Abbey (Bram Stoker's inspiration for Dracula)
This was going to be a very, very good trip.
Look out for the next installment of This Day in History!