Remembering Florida II

Half a year ago, I started to write about my life in Florida back in the nineties, and neglected to finish up… Let’s pick up where we left off!

So, what do two foreign children do when they arrive in a new country?

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Well, of course, like any conscientious immigrant, we were making a concerted effort to integrate by going to a big, strange school in big, strange yellow buses.

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And after school, what better way to spend your time than hanging out with your new friends? I expect this was my 7th birthday party which, unlike the following year’s debacle (another story for a another time) looks to be a fine success.

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One of our favourite spots was an incredible playground downtown. My mum would bring us here to wreak havoc and release energy.

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Having fun in Florida!

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And here’s the whole family: my dad, my mum, me, and my brother. Uprooted in 1998 from idyllic Alpine Germany and dropped into a world of fast food, fast cars, and beautiful beaches – which bizarrely closed to the public at sundown.

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Not that that stopped us from enjoying it in the daytime!

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And with views like this, who’s really complaining?

When I was a teenager in cloud-muddled Reading, I often wished I were a High School student back in Florida, a life with summer camps and malls and beaches and – from what I could glean from television – buckets of glamour.

That feeling passed, of course, but I do want to go back to see the Everglades, eat Key Lime Pie in an art deco cafe, and spend the day reading a book on the beach. My one big regret is that we failed on a magnificent scale to stay in touch with anyone from that time. A lesson I have now learned!

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