Actually, my guess it that whatever it is, it wont be Notting Hill. Too expensive, and we prefer to mix with a lower class of people. Also, it seems clear to me that if there is any benefit to living in London, it is the opportunity to be in a neighbourhood with a funny sounding name, and "notting" is in the 49th percentile, considerably below "shoreditch" and "tufnell." But if anybody has a suggested location (postal codes, please -- the search engines ask for them) for places where residence is not too obscenely expensive, schools are good enough for our brilliant daughter, and the atmosphere caters both to doggies and gourmands, then we will grateful for suggestions.
This is, by the way, the "news" I have cryptically mentioned a couple of times. Our little family is pulling up its carefully cultivated Massachusetts roots and will be adding its own little brdašce to the London Balkanscape. The Ethniette will acquire one of those accents you hear on late night radio saying "oh seven hours, Greenwich mean time" (I intend to keep my Northwest monotone, thank you very much), Sig.ra Ethnia will ply her trade in that foreign land, and I will be Senior Lecturer in Southeast European Politics at UCL's dear old SSEES. As for Lajoš, the vet has stuck one of those horrifying chips into him, so now he will have the added marginal utility of being able to store phone numbers or recipes or something.
Of course I am absolutely thrilled to join up with the outstanding existing faculty there and with the hugely talented people who will be coming in at the same time as me. Add to this the incredible crew of people at other universities in London and elsewhere in the UK (you know who you are), and it is not hard to see where the new Balkanological paradise is coming together. As much as it is the džob of my dreams, I will do my best never to become one of those things they call an "expat." More of a gastarbajter, I should think.
The coming year will be tough. The family will be separated for some portion of it, and we will have to learn to like jellied eels. But mostly I am stunned by my good fortune, and constantly remembering the pop song line, "when you come from a background of bargain bins, you're bound to fear it ends where it begins." It still seems improbable to me, sitting as I am here in Budapest with three weeks worth of stinky t-shirts and socks from the student trip drying to the eclectic sounds of Radio Petöfi.
My colleagues in the Clark University sociology department, who I hope will come to visit us in London, have been informed. I still have to resolve with the administration under what conditions I will be departing. And I told the students who were travelling with me, who were very sweet in offering me their congratulations and a parting gift of 250 grammes of espresso.