My dear ones, the today’s guest post comes from the lovely and bubbly Katie that blogs over at A Mother Thing
I met Katie last year at the Tots 100
Christmas party. We connected quite fast and we talk and talk all night. She is one of the ladies I chat to all the time on Twitter too and i hope we will see each other soon.
Below i added a picture and her guest post about her Life in UK:
I first came to the UK on 27th December, 2001. And I swear, against all logic or reason, and despite the 8 hour airplane ride I had taken to get here, I still believed wholeheartedly that someone was playing a joke on me. I just could not believe that I was actually IN the UK. I would have sworn that I'd been drugged and all the strange people around me were putting on fake accents and pretending to be British. It just would not compute in my mind that I had actually come to this country, so full of history and myth, so well-known as the greatest empire on earth. How did I get so lucky?
That first year, I did so much. I spent New Year up in Edinburgh, Scotland celebrating Hogmanay. I went to London and saw A Day in the Death of Joe Egg starring my hero, Eddie Izzard and Victoria Hamilton. I visited Chesil Beach in Dorset, and I adopted a monkey from Monkey World. I saw Stonehenge and Hadrian's Wall and Oxford. I saw events at the Manchester Evening News Arena, the Birmingham NEC, and Wembley. I went to Chessington World of Adventures and Alton Towers. I was put on trial at the London Dungeon. I visited an 11th century church!
My own country is only a few hundred years old, and we like to joke about how we kicked those lousy Brits out. We make jokes about how England would be speaking German if it wasn't for us. We have a centuries-old feud, while at the same time accepting that we are two countries divided by a common language...
The truth is that coming to England was an amazing thing. I was married for a good long time to a British man, and I learned so much by being immersed in the culture of my adopted country. If I had come here with another American, I doubt I would have had such a great experience or learned so many new things.
But despite the largely exciting and wonderful experiences I've had, there are still some very obvious differences between my home country and my adopted one. In America, when we go to a shop, we're usually greeted at the door by someone with a big smile and an offer of help. There are always workers nearby to help you find something you need or reach something on a high shelf. When we get to the checkout, the cashier will chat with us, looking us in the eyes and making sure we've found everything we needed. And we NEVER have to bag our own groceries. In contrast, here in the UK, I find that shop staff are cold and indifferent. Most of the time, you are left on your own until you check out. And the cashier does everything in his power not to look at you. For the most part, they won't even give you the total or ask for payment, instead assuming that you will notice and offer up your card on your own. There's no one there to bag your groceries, and it is pretty infrequent that you will receive an offer of help. And if you DO (for instance, I occasionally was offered the cashier's help while I was pregnant), they get annoyed if you take them up on it.
In short, the customer service in the UK would be completely unacceptable in the US.
I've also been completely shocked at UK houses. My parents house, a 4-bedroom, 2 bath, 3 reception with detached 2 car garage and a HUGE plot of land cost them the equivalent of £35,000. So imagine my surprise when I found that our 2 bed, mid-terrace house with tiny rooms, no parking and no garden cost us £185,000! And when we bought our second place with 3 bedrooms, it was £230,000! The UK seems to be built upward instead of outward. Space is at a premium, so each home is smaller. I liken it to living in an ant farm. It is completely unfamiliar to me.
But aside from these small niggles, I am happy to be in the UK. Will I stay forever? I doubt it. One day, I fully intend on going back to the US. I'd like to give my kids more room to play and more space to live. I want them to appreciate the value of a smile. I want them to be able to walk down the street and say hello to the people they meet without those people running away.
The English may be known for their stiff-upper-lip mentality, but they sure aren't known for their ability to relate to their fellow humans.
But this country has been my home for 10 years. I love my life and am the person I am because I moved here. I will never regret being an expatriate. And even if/when I move back to America, I will fondly remember my time in the UK and how wonderful it was to experience something completely different.
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