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English Mum in New York

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(Well Conneticut anyway)

So…. my husband came home from work one day with a bombshell “I’ve been approached about a job, but we would have to move to the USA”

18 months previously we had bought our forever home, a house I’d walked past everyday for 10 years saying “One day I want to live in that house”. I now lived in it. It was close to schools, hobbies, friends and most of all family.

We were happy and settled – both in our 40’s with 2 young boys. Our life was perfect, well … perfect for us. Why would we want to change anything???? “So do we fancy it then?” My reply surprised even myself “Why the hell not!”

Before we knew it the house was sold and the visa’s were sorted. We were moving to Connecticut, a short train ride from New York. Saying goodbye was possibly one of the most heart wrenching things I could have imagined. Although I kept repeating ” it’s not goodbye, it’s see you soon”.

Legal Aliens

So we are now officially “Legal Aliens” well that’s what it says on our visa and I thought it was just a song sung by Sting!!!

And alien it is. First of all Americans think England is just London so most conversations go like this.

“Where in London do you come from?”img_0195

“I’m not, I’m from Manchester ”

“Oh, where in London is that”

” It’s not London, it’s the north of England”

“Oh right so you probably know my cousin/friend/ he’s from London too”.

Seriously! This conversation happens daily.

Driving on the right side of the road is easier than I thought it was going to be except you can turn right on a RED traffic light. After driving for 20 years going through a red light is definitely alien.

 

05c0e5ce-203c-40a1-b8b9-0d42d57d4de3Americans cannot make tea!

I don’t drink much coffee, unlike the Americans, and I do enjoy a good old-fashioned cup of tea. But American ‘English tea’ isn’t English tea at all!

No wonder the Americans are selling 400 million cups of coffee a day. They can’t make a brew!

You can find PG tips on the international aisle in the supermarkets but it’s some cheap imposter conning me into spending $15 for some home comfort only to be bitterly disappointed.

 

No Curry Dip!

Ronald McDonald came to the U.K. In 1974 introducing us to the Big Mac, fries, Chicken Mcnugget. We arrived in the States and much to the horror of my children they don’t have sweet curry dip! My kids were in shock. ” How can we eat this?” they said. We were offered buffalo sauce, a very poor substitute in comparison.

But on a positive note they serve breakfast all day! No more walking up on a Sunday with a hangover, needing a Mcd’s and realizing you’ve missed breakfast by 5 mins!

Soccer Mum!

Having 2 boys, a big part of our lives is football or dare I say soccer but again it’s like another language. They no longer wear boots, they wear cleats. They don’t have a footy kit, they have a uniform, they do juggling instead of keepie uppies and you can’t head the ball until you are 11 years old!!

The place is very alien to us but we are adjusting slowly and we are embracing the adventure everyday.

I am happy to change some words to the US version; you need to so you can be understood. Like pavement to side-walk, lift to elevator, rubbish to trash but one thing I’m not prepared to change and that is my name.

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I’m a Mum not a Mom no matter what!

Louise Byron

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