Saturday, 24 May 2008
So that is why this blog never really took off. That and, I'm really not a writer and I can never put things in just such a way to really describe my feelings or a situation in the right way.
So I will lay this blog to rest, for the random few of you who check in every so often to see if there is anything new. For you and for those who stumble across this blog looking for the experiences of an expat or a repat, I would like to refer you to my friend at Potential and Expectations. Though her situation is a bit different (married to a British husband, has two wee girls, lived in England, and lived abroad much longer than me), I can truely relate to much of what she says. The fears, struggles, and worries, the suprise and the differences, homesickness, learning new systems or trying to remember what was tucked away for so long. And she says it so eloquently.
So with this, I will take my leave of this blog.
Monday, 3 March 2008
Tuesday, 12 February 2008
Last week I was thinking about 'the six-month slump' that most expats get. When relocating to another country, as stressful as it is, it is still very exciting. A new place, a new culture, new food, new styles, new accent (or language). Everything is new and for a while it is fun. But I think they say that at about six months it is not as much fun anymore and expats start to miss home, or just something FAMILIAR.
I hit it really hard at about 4 months, naturally because that was Christmas. I was just tired of constantly having to learn new, basic things, like 'can I get tinned pumpkin anywhere in this country!?' Work was overworking me, we didn't have many friends and the friends we did have were away for the holidays, family was far away, our Christmas decorations were sparse, the sun (when it decided to show it's face) was only up for about 5 hours a day (and it still sat very low in the south). It was a depressing time.
So when I was thinking of all this last week, it hit me that we have now been back in the States for six months. I wondered if many repats felt this. Of course I missed Scotland when we first moved over (even before we moved!) and our situation was a tough one, but I began to realise that we were back here permanently. I didn't think of Scotland daily.
Now I have to remind myself of the things I didn't like while we were there: the taxes, high cost of living, my work, dreek winters (hmmm), our small fridge and miniature kitchen ;).
Of course there are good things about being back here. I don't want it to sound like I am unhappy. This is all just part of the experience.
Wednesday, 19 December 2007
I will always say that one of the things I really miss from the UK is the universal health care. It sounds like one of the biggest, baddest words you can say to so many Americans, so I have to be careful whom I say this to or it can start a big political discussion, which is not what I want. I would ask you to really think about this, though. Many people who are against it really seem closed minded to me.
Health care has been a great concern for us after moving back to the States. We have no money to buy insurance. We are currently uninsured. It affects the decisions we make. I may have to take a job I am not thrilled about because they offer a benefits package. Josh may not be able to take a job he could be happy with because they offer no benefits. What if I got pregnant? What if Josh had an accident while working on the car? It's winter...what if we get really sick?
That is all I will say about it now. After living in 2 countries one gets a taste of the good and the bad of both. This is the one thing that left me sick to my stomach when thinking of moving back here.
Wednesday, 5 December 2007
The picture does not even do it justice. It looks very fallsie.
Our first snowfall!
Snow in the backyard.
The sweet potato casserole was so popular this was all that was left the next day (and I don't even like it).
It was fun to have Stevie stay the night and the next day the Carter's came over and helped us eat up the leftovers (and left their car for us!!).
Tuesday, 20 November 2007
cell phone rather than mobile
pants rather than trousers
vacuum (cleaner) rather than hoover
garbage rather than rubbish
garbage can rather than bin
canned rather than tinned
restroom rather than toilet or loo
line rather than queue
ad-ver-TIZE-ment rather than ad-VERT-is-ment or advert
Yet somehow in my conversations, I THINK the British word or pronunciation but SAY it in American. There are some awkward moments, though when I will ask someone where the toilet is, or if I can use their toilet. It does sound a bit crude to the American ear. :)
Saturday, 17 November 2007
Wednesday, 14 November 2007
No, Americans are not required to own guns, nor do ALL Americans even own guns.
You will find that in the large cities it might be illegal to even carry a gun (though there is such a high crime rate in the cities involving guns). When you get to the more rural parts you will be more likely to find a gun in many households. They may be there for either hunting or for the protection of the family. Some call it a virtue to have a gun, or even a SIN if the head of the family does not own a gun (because he is not protecting his family).
One thing Josh was looking forward to was shooting. Simply shooting his gun at a target (he does want to go hunting, too). He asked that we could do this for one of our date days. Ok, I gave in.
It turned out to be a lovely day when we went to the property of a family friend. Josh did most of the shooting.
I think Josh got it out of his system.
The last time I was grocery shopping (now that I have my VERY OWN fridge that I can fill up all by myself!!) I came across these creamers. I stood there thinking, wondering if I should get some. I was planning to just get some heavy cream because that is what I used in Scotland, but the prices drove me over to the creamer/half and half section. My eyes fell on a limited edition flavour called pumpkin pie spice. Being nearly Thanksgiving and being deprived of all things pumpkin while in Scotland, I couldn't resist.
I made my coffee strong(er than normal) and added extra creamer. Yum! Ok, I wont scoff any more. :)
Saturday, 3 November 2007
people look at you funny when you call the vacuum 'hoover', the trash container 'rubbish bin', the trunk 'boot', and the shopping cart 'trolley'.
you get annoyed that they don't serve tea and coffee after church.
you put cream on your pudding/dessert.
you have to explain to people that they do speak english in Scotland.
you say things like 'wee' 'gobsmacked' 'aye' and 'fab'
you nearly keel over when looking at the cost of owning a mobile/cell phone.
you are overwhelmed with joy to have a closet.
coworkers think you are odd because you bring a birthday cake to work for your "own" birthday.
your hairdresser looks at you strange when you ask her to trim your fringe.
eating a delicious breakfast at a restaurant is an exciting and wonderful experience.
you are suprised that there is enough food leftover to take home from the restaurant.
you freak out that the guy driving the car isnt holding on to the wheel and is eating... only to realize he isnt the driver.
you are convinced the world needs more roundabouts!!!!! Keep the traffic flowing people.
you walk into a store to ask for something and sit there completely stumped as to what they call it there as you can only remember the British word for it. You end up gesturing and drawing a picture until they finally guess it and you say "Yes! That's what I meant."
You are asked if you are from England.
you enjoy doing laundry again.
you get to rediscover one stop shopping.
you find tinned pumpkin at the grocery store and hoard it.
you look up the grocery stores online to see how much delivery is.
the cashier is annoyed with you because you are staring into your change purse trying to figure out how to make 70 cents in change.
you keep reaching for a quarter in your change purse thinking it is a 2p coin.
you are tired of constantly explaining to the cashier that you have your own bags...then they just stand there and stare at you in amazement while you pack your own bags.
Thank you to my friend at americanexpats.co.uk who helped me come up with some of these. ;)
*a repat is someone who has returned to their 'home' country after living in another country. Someone who has repatriated.
Monday, 29 October 2007
We have lived in larger cities for the past 10 years, so I do miss the selections at those libraries. But what I really miss from Edinburgh is the 3 week check out. It is just 2 weeks here! If I get a book I have a hard time getting into it takes me about 2 weeks just to start reading it regularly. Then I have to go renew it. The things I don't miss though are being charged to check out a video (is there a charge for CDs as well?) and the late charge for books. I can't remember what it was in Edinburgh, but I know it was more than the 4 cents per day I have to pay here.
Saturday, 29 September 2007
So we went back yesterday equipped with all the right words to say to tell them that they CAN do this.
After about 20 minutes of 3 people looking over the cheques, getting on the phone, looking at the computer, one lady came over and said, "Is this a pound sign?" When Josh confirmed she said, "Oh, that's what she said but I thought it was a euro sign."
After about 10 more minutes another lady came back behind the counter and said, "Ok, all of these are MORE so here is the amount of each check..." She seemed astonished that £35 converted to $70 and expected us to be so happy and greatful that we were getting more dollars than pounds. It was cute. But then she told us we wont see the money for 6-8 weeks...
Nobody likes to make any aspect of an international move easy.
Thursday, 6 September 2007
I always loved the view over the Forth
It's a port town.
Only 2 more days of work!
Monday, 3 September 2007
I forgot to mention that they throw candy at the crowd.
The pipers came out just for us! And they even played the Scottish anthem!