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When does it get easier? Unhappy in Michigan.

When does it get easier? Unhappy in Michigan.

Old Apr 16th 2016, 5:46 am
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Default Re: When does it get easier? Unhappy in Michigan.

Originally Posted by Pulaski
I have had a number of conversations over the years when I have explained the difference between England, Great Britain, and the United Kingdom.
I once found myself in the middle of a presentation explaining not only this, but the existence of Northern Ireland. In my French class. In French. It wasn't my finest hour.
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Old Apr 16th 2016, 5:56 am
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Default Re: When does it get easier? Unhappy in Michigan.

I am from Glasgow, still have the accent after 20 years, and constantly get the Aussie thing.

On the unhappiness, I moved over here by myself and it took about 6 months to adjust. After all this time I still feel "different" but in an interesting way, not a bad way. My advice would be not to count down the days until you go home but embrace where you are as home, otherwise you will never fit in.
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Old Apr 17th 2016, 7:23 pm
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Default Re: When does it get easier? Unhappy in Michigan.

Originally Posted by dlake02
Be VERY careful on University and think ahead - we moved back after 4 1/2 unhappy years with a son going into Year 9. At the same time, I started a Postgraduate degree and was shocked to find that for the duration of the degree, I will be classified as a non-UK/non-EU student as we have not been in the UK/EU continuously for the past 3 years. My fees have gone from £1500/year to £12,500. And there has been a (Tory) suggestion that all "foreigners" should need a 5-year qualifying period. Gulp.

So, my son will be OK, but only just. And no-one told us that - found out by accident.

We were in the Bay Area which I hated with a passion. First 2 years, I tried to make the best of it, but the work atmosphere, the lack of any social life, the awful media and unfair/useless/expensive healthcare plus the fact that even the "progressives" I came across were slightly right of Maggie compared to me and I felt totally isolated and living to a different set of values.

I left feeling very cross, very upset, felt conned by the American marketing machine and that I had wasted nearly 5 years of my life. I'm starting to calm down - I have a good job and the right (not being on an L1) to look for another one; my wife is an individual again rather than tied to my "status;" being a Labour party and proud Trade Union member and an atheist are no longer dirty secrets !

For me, it didn't get easier. I tried to make it easier, but I just found I was grating and arguing with everything and everyone. Eventually, I realised that conformisim is much more important in the US than it is at least in the area I live in (London/Brighton).

I hope it works out however you want it to work out.
Hi D! So you made it back. Sounds like you're fairly unscathed, and in the long run it will have given your son more life experiences. I'm philosophical about the costs, the price of increased wisdom lol.
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Old Apr 23rd 2016, 3:54 pm
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Default Re: When does it get easier? Unhappy in Michigan.

Sorry to hear yr news but I think its early days. I have lived here about 15 years origin from Surrey. Some think I am Australian others French!!!! hope it improves
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Old Apr 24th 2016, 11:56 am
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Default Re: When does it get easier? Unhappy in Michigan.

Originally Posted by kimilseung
I'd say seven or eight years in before I started to feel at home here, in the sense that I felt I was as much of a stake-holder here as any natural born American.
I've had the usual, Welsh, Scot, Irish, Aussie, all to be expected, but I have also had some odd ones. One person has a Czech friend, he assumed I must be Czech too. I have also been refereed to as "that Russian guy"
I'd agree with that. The first year was like wow, I've landed on the moon. Everything was difficult and I constantly question why they didn't do things like they do "back home". Second year was oh, yeah, this is familiar, I remember this from last year. 3-4th years were tough. By then the novelty had worn off and on top of that, we had one 3 year old and a newborn. Now, after 14 years, I am thinking about where in the US I would like to retire, is my 401K fat enough, what will I do for healthcare, will I end up being a greeter at Walmart?

Every time I go back to the UK, I think how lucky I am to live in the US. The UK feels small (roads, parking spaces, houses, toilet stalls, cars, anything really), very overcrowded and super expensive. Nope, not going to go back there....
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Old Apr 26th 2016, 11:51 am
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Default Re: When does it get easier? Unhappy in Michigan.

Originally Posted by elspethUK
Roughly two months ago we relocated from Leeds to suburban Michigan, USA for dh's work. He is happy at his job here, and it is a good position, but me and my daughter are not nearly as happy. P is almost 15. She was open to moving but now that she is here asks daily to go back home.

She is a second year/sophomore in high school here. When she started all the girls in her class thought she was Australian (we get that a lot, must be a northern accent thing). When they found out she is English they all asked her whether or not she knows Cara Delevigne or the Queen. She says she feels like a zoo animal and there is nothing to do for fun here. Most of the teenagers here go to the mall or sport for fun. She spends hours on the phone with her friends in Leeds and I'm worried that this is what's stopping her from opening up to making friends at school. Younger daughter on the other hand made up a bunch of nonsense about being related to Kate Middleton and living in a castle, which I found out later and she has since dropped her story. She has adjusted much better and can now imitate a perfect American accent, although apparently everyone at school is jealous of her accent.

As for me, I miss home much more than expected. I imagine if we were somewhere like San Francisco or New York the transition might be easier but so many of the things we love about home is not available here. It's only a 2-3 year position and if it were just me, I would wait it out but I'm concerned about older daughter, I've never seen her this unhappy. I am considering going home at this point, which dh is open to but really enjoys his job

First of all do people mistake your accents for Australian all the time? (Is it just a northerner thing? because I think Australian accents sound more American than English) How long did it take you to adjust and find friends? How long did it take your teenagers to adjust?
The are you Australian thing never goes away and with experience I don't think SF or NY make that any different. Weekly, I get that with over 20 years time in service But you can have fun with it.

MI can be a great state imho, especially now winter is over try visiting upstate, Grayling, or on the coast, Holland and Traverse City spring to mind. All capable of being visited in a few hours. I would choose it over lala land or Nebraska by the Sea.
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Old Apr 26th 2016, 1:56 pm
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Default Re: When does it get easier? Unhappy in Michigan.

I have an Indian friend who people immediately started speaking spanish to as they thought he was Mexican. That must have been frustrating when people don't even speak English to you.
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Old Apr 26th 2016, 2:16 pm
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Default Re: When does it get easier? Unhappy in Michigan.

Originally Posted by mrken30
I have an Indian friend who people immediately started speaking spanish to as they thought he was Mexican. That must have been frustrating when people don't even speak English to you.
Almost every time I have been Italy, which is about 20 times, so literally 18 or 19 times, during the course of my 10-12 days in Italy, someone (always obviously a German holidaymaker, or perhaps expat) has come up to me and asked me a question in German.

The only thing that has amused me more is the time when I was in the Netherlands and someone came up to me and asked me a question in Dutch!
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Old Apr 26th 2016, 2:34 pm
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Default Re: When does it get easier? Unhappy in Michigan.

Somebody called me European today, was not sure what to do, thought she should have known better?
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Old Apr 27th 2016, 1:08 am
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Default Re: When does it get easier? Unhappy in Michigan.

Originally Posted by Boiler
Somebody called me European today, was not sure what to do, thought she should have known better?
I hope you explained that Britain is separate from Europe?
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Old Apr 27th 2016, 1:12 am
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Default Re: When does it get easier? Unhappy in Michigan.

Originally Posted by Pulaski
I hope you explained that Britain is separate from Europe?
I have asked for counselling.

She described herself as a life coach.

Most odd.
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Old Apr 27th 2016, 1:19 am
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Default Re: When does it get easier? Unhappy in Michigan.

Originally Posted by Boiler
I have asked for counselling. ....
If you're European you should have applied for a grant, and a subsidy.
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Old Apr 27th 2016, 1:30 am
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Default Re: When does it get easier? Unhappy in Michigan.

To pay for the counselling?
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Old Apr 27th 2016, 1:34 am
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Default Re: When does it get easier? Unhappy in Michigan.

Originally Posted by Boiler
To pay for the counselling?
A house at the beach, a fancy cruise, or whatever you want. That seems to be how it works.
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Old Apr 29th 2016, 2:12 am
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Default Re: When does it get easier? Unhappy in Michigan.

I used to get asked if I was Australian way more than English - although in the last few months I have very rarely been asked - I am thinking my accent is changing more than I realised!

I have noticed that after 2 years I have pretty much lost the ability to distinguish between Australian and English accents myself - so can understand why Americans find it difficult!
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