As with most trips I've taken, getting out of town is the worst part. I'm not referring to rushing through the airports, the inevitable patting down or fumbling attempts to get all your carry on electronics back in your bag with one hand while slipping on your shoes with the other. I'm referring trying to maneuver through New York City's subway system with a piece of luggage. Those who complain about the inconvenience of heightened security at airports have no idea what it's like trying to squeeze onto an elevator at a subway station with a large bag, only to be confronted by people who will not move to accommodate you because they hope that you'll get off instead. Oy. See ya, New York assholes. Won't miss you at all.
I should compare this to the fact that my mother, with whom I am traveling, was offered a seat on every subway today, save one. I was even offered seats next to her when people saw that we were together.
This Yakov Smirnovesque "in my country this, but in this country that" is an inevitable effect of traveling and being an Anglophile, it's easy to guess which side of the scales are loaded with gold and which have lead. Another effect is feeling like I'm in a dream: everything is familiar yet slightly different. Houses and buildings look different, so many made with incredible red bricks, and you imagine that cars move differently. It's been 15 years sine I've been here, but this morning, on the tube of all places, it all came back to me, not as distinct memories, but as sense memories, as emotional impressions of what it was like to be here and I felt so happy my eyes watered.