It’s always the same scenario. The early morning chill, the birdsong in the darkness, the drag of the suitcase through the terminal, the glance towards the illuminated ‘Departures‘ sign. Then comes the most important part: saying goodbye. There is a knowing and meaningful nod between an important family member and yourself, and then there is the flood of hot tears, the fear of the unknown, and the last smell of home as you inhale the scent of your mothers hair and the roast dinner smell on your grandmothers jumper as you go in for the last embrace.
I like to call this scenario ‘The Last Goodbye’ and for majority of people it can also be the most important goodbye. Farewells at airports have undoubtedly created some A-grade clichés; there is the rom-com esque ‘chase through the airport and declare eternal love’ farewell, the understated ‘tear in the eye of a seemingly emotionless male family member’ farewell, and not forgetting the guilt relieving farewell whereby either traveller or family confess to deadly deeds and deeply hidden treacheries.
Non of these goodbyes, however, arise in the recurrent scenario of my own departure. In my 3 am appointments with panic, the only goodbye that makes an appearance is a long farewell staring competition between England and myself. Neither of us know how to approach my encroaching departure; it is a difficult and awkward moment in which I experience a traumatic flash-forward to my time in Mexico- I am sweating and crying over the loss of English tea and the decreased proximity to a Toby Carvery.
Pre-sleep showings of this farewell film have made me realize that perhaps their strong presence in my mind is simply because I am dreading the real ‘Last Goodbye’. Bidding farewell to friends, family, the English culture, language and cuisine amongst everything else is a problematic and lengthy process. So I wondered, why not say goodbye to different things that I will miss (and some things that I won’t) via my blog.
NUMBER ONE: the last goodbye has inspired the first…GOODBYE TO ENGLISH TEA!