Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Fare Thee Well

My friend of four years, Don from Edinburgh, is moving back to England this week. He came to the states, Princeton, NJ, in 1994. He later moved to Chicago.

I find myself a little depressed at the loss. We were not especially close friends but we were bar buddies. He would always let me know when there were good English Premier League or European Cup games on TV. We'd meet, watch the games, and just chat.

Don didn't come on a work visa but as a vacationer and never left. The U.S. has become his home in his heart. Despite this, through circumstances of his own doing and some not, he was unable to keep working. He's been couch surfing for several months while trying to find work. Difficult to do without legal working status. A couple failed attempts later he has run out of money.

Scottish Don loves this country and the people here. This past week he told me two stories of his early years in the states I didn't know. Twice he walked into bars in The South where he wasn't known. His initial reception was not friendly and even somewhat threatening. In both cases when the regulars learned he was visiting from Scotland he was warmly welcomed. A sad commentary on how we can treat ourselves but good to see how well we treat our guests.

We had an informal going away party last night. A bunch of regulars and even non-regulars showed up to tip back a pint and say farewell to Don. I hope to be able to visit him in England later this year but I'm going to miss a winter Saturday morning with Don, a pint, and a Man U. game.


Blogger Miss Healthypants said...

Sorry your friend has to leave, man--that totally sucks.

Did you ever check out the Setanta Sports channel? You have to pay extra for it on DirectTV, but Iwanski likes to watch Irish football on there when it's on.

I pretty much don't understand any of the Irish, Scottish, or English sports. :)

10:16 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

Football, ie soccer, I understand. Scottish Don tried to explain rugby and cricket to me. I kind of get rugby but cricket is just nuts. I think I have a mental block when the field is round and they break for tea.

I don't have access to Setanta or I'd've been all over it. I've been told that they went bankrupt in the U.K. though so they may not be caring too many English events this year.

12:12 AM  

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