Great things about my parents visiting me for two weeks:
* Saving a significant amount of money from the enforced quarantine away from my party-loving friends.
* Sleeping soundly for 10 hours every nights (see above point).
* Having a seemingly endless of supply of bagels in the house as my parents are strangely obsessed with them and made daily trips to H&H to stock up.
* Feeling like a child again as we sat down for breakfast every morning (I had to build in an extra 30 minutes in my morning schedule), Mum cooked some of my favourite dishes (and froze them so that I could have homemade food when they left) and they generally looked after me as if I was not much older than 12.
* After many trials and errors, finally finding a decent baguette in the City at the Food Emporium.
* Quitting smoking.
Not so great things about my parents visiting me for two weeks:
* Trying to look very interested while Dad showed me all the pictures he took of the vegetables growing in their garden.
* Being completely up to date, in sometimes more details than strictly necessary, on all of our extended family's news.
* Realizing, after they had left, that Mum had subtly reorganized all my kitchen cabinets.
* Being left with a fridge full of cheese and a brand new pot of Nutella.
* Being shamed into realizing there are still so many areas of New York that I have yet to explore such as Brooklyn Heights, Ellis Island and well ... the Upper East Side, while my parents on the other hand adventurously wondered around by themselves despite their very limited command of English and came back from their escapades with wonderful observations and photographs.
* Quitting smoking.
All joking aside now, the greatest thing about my parents' visit is that it turned out to be quite a revelation for me.
When they first came to see me here I was so new to the City - barely 7 months in - and although I had managed to pack in many experiences in that short time, I didn't know the City in the way I know it now and I also wasn't the person I am now. Despite our enduring love affair, New York has kicked me pretty hard to the ground a couple of times very early on and taught me tough lessons ... some of which I only very recently finally absorbed and accepted.
So in the midst of all this, I hadn't really realized until my parents' second visit that in the past two and a half years, New York has actually become home. Not just an exciting adventure. Not just a place in which to temporary put my bags down for a while before moving on. But instead the place where I belong. Where I feel comfortable and happy. Where my heart is.