Pardon my long silence. Let’s face it, moving to the UK hasn’t been easy. My first week here was particularly rough. But now that I am falling into the swing of things (*knock on wood*), I am also falling in love with my new surroundings.
So far I like to think that I am adapting to British culture fairly well. I already wake up in the morning looking forward to a breakfast of weetabix and a cup of tea. Still, I have a lot of important things to work on. For instance, no matter how hard I try, I cannot remember what they call bell peppers.
Here are a few things I LOVE:
No, I do not mean pancakes. These are oaty snack bars (sometimes dipped in chocolate). Reference photo:
Tea every morning.
There is nothing like waking up to a good cuppa (that is what Brits call a cup of black tea, usually with a bit of milk and no sugar). My coffee addiction is officially squelched.
That is what tea says to me when tea speaks to me each morning.
Hanging laundry in the yard to dry.
Yes! It is just as fun and romantic as it looked in the Little House on the Prairie books. Although I must admit, as an American, hanging my clothes to dry in public does feel like a bit of a privacy violation, but I’m sure I’ll get used to it.
Building a fire.
This isn’t necessarily a British thing. However, the family I live with owns a farm in the country about 30 minutes outside the city. We go and visit at least every weekend. Growing up I always dreamed of living on a farm, so I’ve enjoyed building my repertoire of practical skills (including but not limited to fire building, duck house cleaning, and tent rope tightening).
Things I’m not as sure about yet:
I need to open a bank account to do some things. For example, buy food and pay rent. You know, just slightly important things. I finished my bank account application online, so now all I have to do is show up in a physical bank and show them my passport to prove that I am in fact a real human being. Guess what? The closest appointment available was over two weeks away at a bank that is a 40 minute walk from my house. WHAAAAAT? Why can’t I just pop into the bank around the corner from me and throw my passport at them?
Night time around here is quite a bit more animated than the Bible Belt town I grew up in. I’m learning to fall asleep to the cheery singing of drunk people walking by my window. When I am super tired It can get a bit annoying, but usually it is entertaining. Like for example a few days ago when I fell asleep to the sound of 20 or so drunk guys stomping by while singing:
“Everywhere we go
people ought to know
who we are
so we tell them
we are The Titans”
I don’t know if it is because my ears are not adapted to the fact that people speak like 20 decibels quieter here or if it is because I cannot fill the gaps in conversation because British English word choice is so different, but when I am in large crowds there is a whole lot of smiling-and-nodding-without-any-idea-what-you-are-actually-saying going on. Hopefully I’m not the only one.
Also, I wonder how many awkward moments its will take before I start to remember that “pants” here are called “trousers”. Apparently pants = underwear. Whoops.
College = Uni (short for University. College here generally refers to the last two years of high school)
Dodgy = Sketchy
Posh = Fancy
Pullover Sweater = Jumper
Car Trunk = Boot
Math = Maths
Gum = Glue
Rain Boots = Wellies
Parking Lot = Car Park
Sidewalk = Pavement
Freeway = Motorway
Vacation = Holiday
Do you want me to go on and on? Cause I could be doing this all day you know. When I am with my British friends I try to use their words to avoid misunderstanding. But when I call my family and tell them stories, I try my best to go back to my American accent in its purest form so as not to sound like a obnoxious little sponge. Between the accent and the word choice differences, when I tell them stories I often feel like I am translating between languages.
Have a wonderful day lovely ones!