When you return “home” after living overseas for a while, so many things are different. Sometimes the people you once knew have changed. Sometimes YOU have changed. It’s a strange mix of new and deja vu, and it can be quite painful trying to settle in again.
But one of the best things about your homecoming will be your childlike joy in re-discovering the little things you didn’t even know you missed.
The other day wandering through the mean streets of North London (a bit apprehensive after the safety of Melbourne), I stopped by a familiar ethnic grocery shop. Walking in was like being hurtled back to my childhood. I walked out with an old favourite. In the Caribbean it’s called hard dough bread, and in West Africa we knew it as sweet bread or butter bread.
It’s a rich, doughy and usually sweet loaf of pure joy. Naughty carbs in their best form- if you’re looking for nutritional value then step away from the sweet bread.
Best served as a massive slice, slathered with butter. If you can still see the bread, you have failed. Go back and add more butter. Wash it down with a mug of sweet, milky Milo.
On a day when I was feeling lost and low, this treat soon had me happily swinging my feet and humming while I chewed.
In closing: it doesn’t quite feel like home yet. But in the meantime, at least it tastes like it.