Since I’ve moved out of the United States, I’ve been sent tons of links to online lists of things I’ll miss about California or great ways to keep in touch with people far away or the benefits of living abroad. These are all very cute and adorable and I have loved them. However, there is a bit of reality missing from them, because, for example, I will not actually miss the fact that no one says that word “DUDE!” here all the time, and I don’t really care that I’m now thousands of miles away from all the potential tetanus shots of Venice Beach.
Because I am an eternal downer and committed realist, here I present a little peek into what it’s actually like to move halfway across the world. It’s been a bit of an accelerated learning curve for me because I moved from Los Angeles, a place with no discernible weather at all, to England, a place with all the weather all the time, in the middle of winter. In addition to all the new things I’ve stumbled across while building a life in a new country, I’ve learned things about this phenomenon called “winter,” like: if you are planning on being outside at any time, you should always plan on having an umbrella, hood, jacket, hat, and boots on your person; and if you are planning on being inside at any time, you should always plan on totally stripping your umbrella, hood, jacket, hat, and boots off your person. (As hugely important as this has been in my personal life, I cut it from the list because the existence of winter is not exclusive England. I mean, as far as I know.)
The Top Five Things No One Tells You About Moving To England:
5) Exchange rates are no joke. HOLY CANOLI, does the dollar really bite it on this one. A night class that is listed as £180 gets a little less exciting when it eats $305 from your bank account.
4) No one thinks an American accent is cute. No one. I’ve been here for less than three weeks, and have a social circle of like ten people, and still already I cannot count the number of times I’ve been corrected when I’ve said the word “to-MAY-to.” Look, if you want me to say “to-MAH-to,” you better be prepared to be around me when I say “po-TAH-to.” I am nothing if not consistent.
3) In much the same way everything in the U.S. takes up as much space as possible, everything in England is designed to be smaller than a huge American consumer could possibly imagine. Washing machines, hot water boilers, portions. Living here makes me feel like Godzilla. What do you mean I can’t wash my entire wardrobe in one load of laundry? WHY IS THIS IS SO SMALL???
2) Keyboards are just different enough that you’ll quote people as having said, @I love this jacket potato so much!@, while telling people your email address is ceeceehomemaker”gmail.com. (This might actually be the most annoying thing I’ve ever experienced. That statement may make you think I’ve just lived a charmed life. If that’s the case, I’d advise you to a) read the last few months of this blog, and then b) buy a foreign keyboard.)
1) You do not, under any circumstances, talk about that time your American mother threw a Royal Wedding tea party. Like, ever.