(not an existential question—just the practical stuff)
Several people have emailed to ask why I am suddenly in the States and no longer in Europe. Was I not supposed to be in France or Scotland or the Czech Republic or something? Well, yes; however, there is this gap between supposed to and the actuality of life.
Several episodes ago, you may remember that my company sent me to our office in France to satisfy a new rule concerning visa applications in the UK. This would have worked if the Home Office would not have changed the rules in mid-stream again. Halfway through my time in France, I went to check the application procedure for UK visas at the embassy in Paris only to find that the requirements had changed again (quite suddenly only a few weeks before that); I was now completely ineligible for a British visa. I had fallen through a bureaucratic black hole.
My company had done everything and more than could be expected and just had to let me go (I could have extended my French visa only for a few months more…and my job was really designed to be in Scotland anyway). So, quite abruptly, I’ve found myself back in the States after three years in Europe. This was—disconcerting; I had planned to live in Scotland for at least the next two years, very much liked my job, and was just generally keen on life in Europe in general.
Of course, these kinds of sudden changes lead one to re-assess life goals and etc. And then, for good measure, let’s add a severe road accident on top of that…