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Just another cursed expat!

Just another cursed expat!

Old Feb 13th 2013, 12:18 am
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Default Re: Just another cursed expat!

Hey Highland Penguin,

I just read your original post and feel very much the same disconnect as you do. I have also been in the US for 10 years and instead of feeling more at home as time has passed I've just felt increasingly alienated with each passing year. The situation is exacerbated by the issues that you highlighted - guns and universal healthcare (just the main ones in a long list). I just can't get my head around the gun fetish that exists in the US and it does not help that my views are the complete opposite of my wife's (US citizen) family's views. So I end up up sitting there biting my tongue while these people talk about the technical details of guns (all very "matter of fact" as if talking about golf clubs!) and then slate everything that the government is trying to do to reduce gun crime. Even though I've never spoken out to them personally about my feelings (and they wouldn't listen even if I did) they are aware of where my views lie and I feel they do a fair amount of grandstanding to make me feel uncomfortable in their company - in particular my OH's younger brother who has, since Sandy Hook, actually started to talk about pretty much nothing else other than which gun he's going to buy next and how many rounds it can shoot etc. My views on healthcare are similarly out of step with them so I just end up feeling completely isolated and frustrated (but thank goodness my wife is of the same mind as me!).

I also would not want to raise kids here in the US. And I have those thoughts of "if we moved back would my OH feel the same way about the UK as I do about the USA?". We've made no definite plans to move back but my OH has indicated that she'd be open to the idea as I believe she is as frustrated about the way this country is headed as I am.

Anyway, just wanted to let you know that you are not losing the plot and there are people out there with the same feelings.

Good luck with whatever you decide.
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Old Feb 13th 2013, 4:54 am
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Default Re: Just another cursed expat!

Originally Posted by RChappo
Hey Highland Penguin,

I just read your original post and feel very much the same disconnect as you do. I have also been in the US for 10 years and instead of feeling more at home as time has passed I've just felt increasingly alienated with each passing year. The situation is exacerbated by the issues that you highlighted - guns and universal healthcare (just the main ones in a long list). I just can't get my head around the gun fetish that exists in the US and it does not help that my views are the complete opposite of my wife's (US citizen) family's views. So I end up up sitting there biting my tongue while these people talk about the technical details of guns (all very "matter of fact" as if talking about golf clubs!) and then slate everything that the government is trying to do to reduce gun crime. Even though I've never spoken out to them personally about my feelings (and they wouldn't listen even if I did) they are aware of where my views lie and I feel they do a fair amount of grandstanding to make me feel uncomfortable in their company - in particular my OH's younger brother who has, since Sandy Hook, actually started to talk about pretty much nothing else other than which gun he's going to buy next and how many rounds it can shoot etc. My views on healthcare are similarly out of step with them so I just end up feeling completely isolated and frustrated (but thank goodness my wife is of the same mind as me!).

I also would not want to raise kids here in the US. And I have those thoughts of "if we moved back would my OH feel the same way about the UK as I do about the USA?". We've made no definite plans to move back but my OH has indicated that she'd be open to the idea as I believe she is as frustrated about the way this country is headed as I am.

Anyway, just wanted to let you know that you are not losing the plot and there are people out there with the same feelings.

Good luck with whatever you decide.


Except I have learned to live with it and can actually function and not let things get through to me
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Old Feb 17th 2013, 4:47 pm
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Default Re: Just another cursed expat!

Originally Posted by RChappo
Hey Highland Penguin,

I just read your original post and feel very much the same disconnect as you do. I have also been in the US for 10 years and instead of feeling more at home as time has passed I've just felt increasingly alienated with each passing year. The situation is exacerbated by the issues that you highlighted - guns and universal healthcare (just the main ones in a long list). I just can't get my head around the gun fetish that exists in the US and it does not help that my views are the complete opposite of my wife's (US citizen) family's views. So I end up up sitting there biting my tongue while these people talk about the technical details of guns (all very "matter of fact" as if talking about golf clubs!) and then slate everything that the government is trying to do to reduce gun crime. Even though I've never spoken out to them personally about my feelings (and they wouldn't listen even if I did) they are aware of where my views lie and I feel they do a fair amount of grandstanding to make me feel uncomfortable in their company - in particular my OH's younger brother who has, since Sandy Hook, actually started to talk about pretty much nothing else other than which gun he's going to buy next and how many rounds it can shoot etc. My views on healthcare are similarly out of step with them so I just end up feeling completely isolated and frustrated (but thank goodness my wife is of the same mind as me!).

I also would not want to raise kids here in the US. And I have those thoughts of "if we moved back would my OH feel the same way about the UK as I do about the USA?". We've made no definite plans to move back but my OH has indicated that she'd be open to the idea as I believe she is as frustrated about the way this country is headed as I am.

Anyway, just wanted to let you know that you are not losing the plot and there are people out there with the same feelings.

Good luck with whatever you decide.
I think for now the missus and I will stay here for another 2 years, so as to save up, because I highly doubt we would be in a good enough financial position or I'll have a job before her visa expires this December. I just hope we can meet the new requirements for her new visa 2 years from now. Maybe by some miracle I will come to like living here in the US after 2 years or so.
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Old Feb 17th 2013, 11:44 pm
  #34  
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Default Re: Just another cursed expat!

Originally Posted by vikingsail
I often wonder that myself. I wonder if it is as simple as those that make a go of it are coming from circumstances worse than what they are coming too? For me it was never like that. The US was a complete choice for me, a bad one it turns out but still a voluntary choice. I left something far better out of curiosity and an anticipation of adventure. In other words I was not leaving to get away from anything, or to 'better' myself etc. I don't think I have necessarily suffered being here - just realized that for me the choices and future are better in the UK. Guns is just another example of that - right now in So. CA we have a severely angered ex policeman running around taking revenge on former colleagues - the local plods (LAPD) have managed to act like true Keystone Cops and have sadly shot two completely innocent people who were in no way connected with the incident. Yet everyone just carries on with life as if it is just another day. I miss the sense of community for good or bad which pervades the UK on a society scale. The recent reaction to Starbucks or Tesco's whichever side you support just would never happen here - and frankly I think that is sad.
I totally agree that the reaction to Tesco's in the UK would never happen in the USA. That thought was running through my head as I watched the video of the fake horse running through Tesco's. The people who did it would have been arrested and thrown in jail. No one would dare do it. There were some strong messages in the video - and not just about horse meat. I am assuming this is the situation to which you are referring.

I often wonder if, when I return to the UK, I will be able to shake off the effects of living in the USA for so long. I hope so.

Last edited by windsong; Feb 17th 2013 at 11:48 pm.
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Old Feb 20th 2013, 1:54 pm
  #35  
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Default Re: Just another cursed expat!

Originally Posted by windsong
I totally agree that the reaction to Tesco's in the UK would never happen in the USA. That thought was running through my head as I watched the video of the fake horse running through Tesco's. The people who did it would have been arrested and thrown in jail. No one would dare do it. There were some strong messages in the video - and not just about horse meat. I am assuming this is the situation to which you are referring.

I often wonder if, when I return to the UK, I will be able to shake off the effects of living in the USA for so long. I hope so.
Hello Windsong - no I was unaware of that incident. I will have a look at Youtube for the video. I was merely including Tesco and referring to the general public dissatisfaction with their operation - the 49% ownership of a eclectic coffee chain etc... Since my post there have been at least two more madmen running around shooting people - Orange and San Diego and the world goes on. I cannot leave soon enough.

Ok now I have seen the video re horse meat. You have to smile. Surely that is a community at peace with itself. The ability to make a point and a horse's a...s of yourself at the same time. Can you imagine that in the US. The horse people would have been lucky to escape with a mere Tazering, if not deadly force.

I can only imagine the outcry if the US media got hold of this one: http://youtu.be/y98G4ueGQM4

Oh and I'm not trying to offend I'm really much of a meat eater myself, esp not the burger stuff.

Last edited by vikingsail; Feb 20th 2013 at 2:14 pm.
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Old Feb 20th 2013, 2:19 pm
  #36  
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Default Re: Just another cursed expat!

Originally Posted by RChappo
Hey Highland Penguin,

I just read your original post and feel very much the same disconnect as you do. I have also been in the US for 10 years and instead of feeling more at home as time has passed I've just felt increasingly alienated with each passing year. The situation is exacerbated by the issues that you highlighted - guns and universal healthcare (just the main ones in a long list). I just can't get my head around the gun fetish that exists in the US and it does not help that my views are the complete opposite of my wife's (US citizen) family's views. So I end up up sitting there biting my tongue while these people talk about the technical details of guns (all very "matter of fact" as if talking about golf clubs!) and then slate everything that the government is trying to do to reduce gun crime. Even though I've never spoken out to them personally about my feelings (and they wouldn't listen even if I did) they are aware of where my views lie and I feel they do a fair amount of grandstanding to make me feel uncomfortable in their company - in particular my OH's younger brother who has, since Sandy Hook, actually started to talk about pretty much nothing else other than which gun he's going to buy next and how many rounds it can shoot etc. My views on healthcare are similarly out of step with them so I just end up feeling completely isolated and frustrated (but thank goodness my wife is of the same mind as me!).

I also would not want to raise kids here in the US. And I have those thoughts of "if we moved back would my OH feel the same way about the UK as I do about the USA?". We've made no definite plans to move back but my OH has indicated that she'd be open to the idea as I believe she is as frustrated about the way this country is headed as I am.

Anyway, just wanted to let you know that you are not losing the plot and there are people out there with the same feelings.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

Add me to the crowd. I feel the same way you do about guns - and probably the same as you about healthcare, too. You are SO right! They discuss guns as if they were golf clubs. It makes me seethe!
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Old Feb 20th 2013, 2:24 pm
  #37  
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Default Re: Just another cursed expat!

Originally Posted by vikingsail
Hello Windsong - no I was unaware of that incident. I will have a look at Youtube for the video. I was merely including Tesco and referring to the general public dissatisfaction with their operation - the 49% ownership of a eclectic coffee chain etc... Since my post there have been at least two more madmen running around shooting people - Orange and San Diego and the world goes on. I cannot leave soon enough.

Ok now I have seen the video re horse meat. You have to smile. Surely that is a community at peace with itself. The ability to make a point and a horse's a...s of yourself at the same time. Can you imagine that in the US. The horse people would have been lucky to escape with a mere Tazering, if not deadly force.

I can only imagine the outcry if the US media got hold of this one: http://youtu.be/y98G4ueGQM4

Oh and I'm not trying to offend I'm really much of a meat eater myself, esp not the burger stuff.
Poor Hitler lol!!!

<<Can you imagine that in the US. The horse people would have been lucky to escape with a mere Tazering, if not deadly force.>>

This is one of the reasons I want to go back home.

Here's one video of the fake horse in Tesco's

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCqkfRkTqCQ

Last edited by windsong; Feb 20th 2013 at 2:27 pm. Reason: Link changed
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Old Feb 20th 2013, 2:25 pm
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Default Re: Just another cursed expat!

Originally Posted by windsong
Add me to the crowd. I feel the same way you do about guns - and probably the same as you about healthcare, too. You are SO right! They discuss guns as if they were golf clubs. It makes me seethe!
Ditto
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Old Feb 20th 2013, 3:25 pm
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Default Re: Just another cursed expat!

Originally Posted by windsong
Poor Hitler lol!!!

<<Can you imagine that in the US. The horse people would have been lucky to escape with a mere Tazering, if not deadly force.>>

This is one of the reasons I want to go back home.

Here's one video of the fake horse in Tesco's

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCqkfRkTqCQ
That truly is a great video. Even the security guard seems to be laughing and he treats it the best way by just moving them on. That would really have been a full blown SWAT team here in So. CA.
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Old Feb 20th 2013, 3:38 pm
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Default Re: Just another cursed expat!

Originally Posted by vikingsail
That would really have been a full blown SWAT team here in So. CA.
That's not the Seattle way, this is my local Target from a year or two ago.


Last edited by kimilseung; Feb 20th 2013 at 3:40 pm. Reason: wrong link
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Old Feb 20th 2013, 3:50 pm
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Default Re: Just another cursed expat!

Originally Posted by kimilseung
That's not the Seattle way, this is my local Target from a year or two ago.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=9FhMMmqzbD8
Very cool - glad hope is alive. What happened next though. Did the Police turn up? I heard one of the performers say they were on their way early on in the video?
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Old Feb 21st 2013, 3:44 am
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Default Re: Just another cursed expat!

Originally Posted by windsong
Add me to the crowd. I feel the same way you do about guns - and probably the same as you about healthcare, too. You are SO right! They discuss guns as if they were golf clubs. It makes me seethe!
Hi Windsong,

It's good to know there are people out there with the same thoughts. The extreme reaction to what are, at this point anyway, fairly minor (and probably inadeqaute) changes to the gun laws here in NY state is really an eye opener to me in the same way as the reaction to (and I hate the word) "Obamacare" was. And because the only people I really have any contact with are my wife's family I'm constantly exposed to that hateful reaction.

In the past 6 months there have been 2 local incidents that I thought might sway things and make some of my wife's family at least re-evaluate their gun stance:

1) A close friend of the family was shot dead at point blank range by his uncle during a family row, leaving a widowed wife and a little boy with no father.

2) In Webster, NY (where my wife's family live and not very far from where we live) two fireman were shot dead when they responded to fire that was deliberately started.

Not to mention that early last year a little girl was accidentally shot and injured 3 doors down from our house when her elder brother decided not to unload his gun before cleaning it. The news reporter even knocked on our door and asked me to comment on that one - bloody well woke me up and got me out of bed she did too! LOL (I had no comment because I'd slept through the commotion!)


Anyway, If anything though these incidents have made them even MORE pro-gun and anti gun control. I just do not understand it. I cannot fathom it at all. I sometimes feel like banging my head on a brickwall!
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Old Feb 21st 2013, 4:09 am
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Default Re: Just another cursed expat!

Originally Posted by RChappo
Hi Windsong,

It's good to know there are people out there with the same thoughts. The extreme reaction to what are, at this point anyway, fairly minor (and probably inadeqaute) changes to the gun laws here in NY state is really an eye opener to me in the same way as the reaction to (and I hate the word) "Obamacare" was. And because the only people I really have any contact with are my wife's family I'm constantly exposed to that hateful reaction.

In the past 6 months there have been 2 local incidents that I thought might sway things and make some of my wife's family at least re-evaluate their gun stance:

1) A close friend of the family was shot dead at point blank range by his uncle during a family row, leaving a widowed wife and a little boy with no father.

2) In Webster, NY (where my wife's family live and not very far from where we live) two fireman were shot dead when they responded to fire that was deliberately started.

Not to mention that early last year a little girl was accidentally shot and injured 3 doors down from our house when her elder brother decided not to unload his gun before cleaning it. The news reporter even knocked on our door and asked me to comment on that one - bloody well woke me up and got me out of bed she did too! LOL (I had no comment because I'd slept through the commotion!)


Anyway, If anything though these incidents have made them even MORE pro-gun and anti gun control. I just do not understand it. I cannot fathom it at all. I sometimes feel like banging my head on a brickwall!

I completely understand. People I talk to here have the very same attitude. It's a devastating sort of narrowmindedness. But I also find the same sort of thing when I mention the USA to them. They think it is a Utopia!!! There is such denial here and I think this is what sets me world apart from them and was the foundation of my realizing years ago I just do not belong here at all!

Many people here do not know of anything outside the USA, so to believe it is the best place in the world is totally unfounded because they have nothing to compare it with.

As for healthcare, in a recent job I had one of the women there was really conservative in her thinking, to put it mildly. She SO wanted Romney to win the election in particular because of the healthcare issue. When I explained to her that I had almost died a few years ago because I had no health insurance when I was unemployed, she said, "So . . .I don't want to pay for your healthcare". Talk about an eyeopener! Their selfishness is unreal!

I am out of here as fast as I can but unfortunately, it's going to be a while yet.

Last edited by windsong; Feb 21st 2013 at 4:12 am.
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Old Feb 21st 2013, 4:28 am
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Default Re: Just another cursed expat!

Originally Posted by RChappo

Anyway, If anything though these incidents have made them even MORE pro-gun and anti gun control. I just do not understand it. I cannot fathom it at all. I sometimes feel like banging my head on a brickwall!
That's my experience too. It's like people who are pro-gun seem to justify it all by saying 'that's why more people need guns'. It's a battle I am sick of partaking in because like you, I just feel like I am ramming my head again and again into a cement block. It's so sad and what makes it sadder is the level of sheer ignorance going on here.
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Old Feb 21st 2013, 4:34 am
  #45  
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Default Re: Just another cursed expat!

Originally Posted by windsong
I completely understand. People I talk to here have the very same attitude. It's a devastating sort of narrowmindedness. But I also find the same sort of thing when I mention the USA to them. They think it is a Utopia!!! There is such denial here and I think this is what sets me world apart from them and was the foundation of my realizing years ago I just do not belong here at all!

Many people here do not know of anything outside the USA, so to believe it is the best place in the world is totally unfounded because they have nothing to compare it with.

As for healthcare, in a recent job I had one of the women there was really conservative in her thinking, to put it mildly. She SO wanted Romney to win the election in particular because of the healthcare issue. When I explained to her that I had almost died a few years ago because I had no health insurance when I was unemployed, she said, "So . . .I don't want to pay for your healthcare". Talk about an eyeopener! Their selfishness is unreal!

I am out of here as fast as I can but unfortunately, it's going to be a while yet.
That's just awful, Windsong. Apart from what she said being so lacking in compassion, I am left wondering, when did we remove tactfulness from our conversations
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