I have been getting the question "are you homesick?" a lot lately. My answer these days is "no, not yet." I miss my family and friends something fierce. But no, I still haven’t exhibited the usual symptoms of homesickness. These usually entail cravings for an eclectic mix of food items like falafel-flavored chips, Ras al Abed chocolate (sorry for the politically incorrect name, but that’s what it is called), Carolina milk, among others. But so far, I haven’t been hit with the usual cravings. I know it is coming sometime soon, but nothing yet.

However, there is one thing that I have been craving a great deal: serious news bulletins. See, I come from a place where television networks present news in the chronological order of the apocalypse. First comes the bombing, then the death and destruction and then the misery manifested mostly on children and women’s faces.

But here, news bulletins are like one long soap opera whose characters are leading eventful and sometimes tragic lives. You can spend weeks following the travails of the runaway bride who left her husband-to-be. Then there is the story of a cute girl, an A-student high school grad, that disappeared in Aruba. Last — but not least — there is the uplifting tale of the Boy Scout who managed to keep himself in one piece after getting lost in the woods.

I have been watching the news almost every night now for a month but still there is no sign of the apocalypse. The Iraq war is mentioned every once a while but usually at the end of the news bulletin, as viewers start losing interest.

Anyway, no I’m not homesick yet. I’m just missing my daily televised dose of death and destruction.