There’s no place like home

Ben Wolford

LEICESTER, United Kingdom — I’ve often imagined what it would be like to stay in Europe, but America needs all the Democrats it can get.

Plus, there are a lot of things I miss from back home. So I think I’ll go back, and I’m looking forward to it.

I wrapped up a four-week tour of Southern Europe on Saturday, and when my train arrived back in Leicester, it felt like I was home, seeing all the familiar landmarks.

It’ll be even better coming back to Northeast Ohio.

There are material things you start to crave when you go long enough without them. I can tell you right now, I’m taking the first exit off the highway from the airport that has a Chipotle.

Europe doesn’t have many skyscrapers, and I really miss how exciting it is to see those.

When I get to Kent and see Ray’s, I think I’m going to have to grab a pint and a Reuben sandwich with sun sticks and ranch dressing. So delicious.

It’ll be nice to drive a car again and not have to rely on public transportation.

And I’m going to be so happy to see some of the simple features of home that you grow attached to. There’s the tree over the driveway of my parents’ house, that weird Star Wars thing at Mike’s Place, Franklin Hall, maybe even Risman Plaza, ugly as it currently is.

There are some cultural things I had taken for granted, too. To give an example, when I came back from the continent Saturday, it was wonderful to be able to express myself in my own language. In France I was limited to, “I would like a Nutella crêpe, please.”

It’s similar in England. You can’t speak of LeBron James because nine in 10 people somehow don’t know who he is.

And I want to go to a barbecue and have a hamburger and a hot dog with potato salad and ice-cold beer from a cooler.

I was at a parade here Sunday morning for St. George’s Day. It was nice, but it was just a procession of scouts and marching bands. No candy.

I also miss American journalism. Say what you want about how sensationalist we are, but British journalism is worse. I’m not even talking about the tabloids, either — you know, the ones with a naked girl on page three.

I’m talking about the legitimate broadsheets. A typical lead, front-page story is something like, “ELDERLY MAN FLOGGED ON DOORSTEP FOR HAM SANDWICH,” in 60-point font with a photo of the sandwich. I wish I were kidding.

We do a lot of things very well in America. A lot of the resentment and abuse we take from haughty Europeans is undeserved, although we do ask for some of it.

The Republicans have sort of made this their catchphrase, so I’ve never actually said this, I don’t think, and it might be the last I ever say. But it’s true: I’m proud to be an American.

…As long as Obama’s my president and Tim Ryan’s my representative, that is.

Ben Wolford is a junior newspaper

journalism major and a columnist for

the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him

at [email protected].