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Your opinions and anything else you can tell me

Your opinions and anything else you can tell me

Old Jun 24th 2009, 6:59 pm
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Default Your opinions and anything else you can tell me

Hello all

I am a USC and my hubby is a UKC. We married almost 9 yrs ago and have 2 kids (3 yrs and 10 wks old). We are looking to move back to the US and I am trying to mentally prepare my husband as best I can as I've been through it the other way around myself.

I left when I was 19 so didn't really experience adulthood (mortgages, dealing with health insurance, etc) in the US. I was raised on Long Island, NY but that is completely out of our price range and we are probably looking at moving to Eastern PA or around there. I have some family in NY and we do have friends there but for the most part we won't know anyone in our immediate vicinity.

A few years ago we lived 3 mo's in NY and we've been back to the US several times to a number of different states on holiday so my husband already knows some things but moving there is a whole different ball game. I'm interested in hearing everyone's thoughts and opinions on the move, culture, differences, hardships, benefits, quality of life, etc from Brits who have moved to the US.

Thanks everyone
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Old Jun 24th 2009, 7:58 pm
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Default Re: Your opinions and anything else you can tell me

Originally Posted by dmwaslg View Post
I'm interested in hearing everyone's thoughts and opinions on the move, culture, differences, hardships, benefits, quality of life, etc from Brits who have moved to the US.
Get him to join and read the forums himself, he won't be able to appreciate it other wise.

Also read the Moving Back to UK forum, has nice balance.

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Old Jun 25th 2009, 9:11 am
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Default Re: Your opinions and anything else you can tell me

He's been on here reading lots of posts and he's learned alot. Just trying to prepare as much as possible so it's not a shock after the initial fun.

I'll try that one as well.

Thanks
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Old Jun 25th 2009, 1:01 pm
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Default Re: Your opinions and anything else you can tell me

I would say to just try to get him prepared for the fact that for the first year he's here he will be adjusting and will feel a bit useless because he won't know where to find things, what they are called, how things are done over here.

It all happened to me and affected my confidence until after about a year I had learned how to do 90% of things over here. I think if i'd been more prepared that it's normal to be a clueless idiot until you've learned the slightly different ways over here, then I wouldn't have let it affect me as much.

Hope this doesn't sound negative. He will adjust, it just takes a while.
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Old Jun 25th 2009, 1:38 pm
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Default Re: Your opinions and anything else you can tell me

Thanks very much for your response. I never really thought about the hit to the confidence that I experienced until reading your post. My hubby is a very secure individual and typically doesn't care what anyone thinks or says about him but a big move like this can rattle anyones cage even a bit.
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Old Jun 25th 2009, 4:22 pm
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Default Re: Your opinions and anything else you can tell me

Even after 2½ years I still have problems going into Home Depot to buy something for house repairs.

It is knowing exactly what I want, but when I can't find it not knowing what the b***** thing is called over here to ask for it I find so frustrating.

It is simple things like that that makes things more difficult than you are used too. and as orangemirror says makes you feel a bit of an idiot for not knowing.

Last edited by lansbury; Jun 25th 2009 at 4:24 pm.
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Old Jun 25th 2009, 6:08 pm
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Default Re: Your opinions and anything else you can tell me

Originally Posted by lansbury View Post
Even after 2½ years I still have problems going into Home Depot to buy something for house repairs.

It is knowing exactly what I want, but when I can't find it not knowing what the b***** thing is called over here to ask for it I find so frustrating.

It is simple things like that that makes things more difficult than you are used too. and as orangemirror says makes you feel a bit of an idiot for not knowing.
That is annoying. I tend to find I'll say something and as the words leave my mouth I'll think "hmm, haven't heard that word in a while"... then I realise know one knows what I'll mean.

Most recent example was "wheel trim". After a while we figured out "hub cap" is the more appropriate phrase!

I read a while back that little things like that really throw you off since the difference isn't that big between US and UK. For example, if you spoke Japanese and not a word of English, having some communication difficulty in Alabama probably wouldn't come as a great surprise! But for Brits, it can throw you a little.
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Old Jun 25th 2009, 6:18 pm
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Default Re: Your opinions and anything else you can tell me

IMHO the hardest thing when we moved here, was making myself understood! I was so offended that no one knew what I was asking for when I was trying to find something in the store (notice I said store not shop!!)

It was accepting that people generally didn't understand me - I think people were just not expecting an accent and so genuinely were surprised and therefore didn't hear what I was saying.

However I remember going to Home Depot and asking where the "Tarps" were located (as in Tarpaulin) well the woman looked at me as if I had asked her why she was standing there naked!!! and I had to keep repeating the word, then describing what it was and then I said Tarpaulin - blank stare!!! and so I kept say Tarps, Tarps, Tarps (I must have sounded so funny) then it clicked and she said - oh you mean Tarps - WTF, she said it exactly as I had said it.

I really think she thought it was a trick!!!!!!! BUT I wanted to cry, it was so frustrating!!!

That was the hardest part for me, but now I just take it in my stride and mostly just spend hours in stores trying to find it myself
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Old Jun 25th 2009, 8:00 pm
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Default Re: Your opinions and anything else you can tell me

Originally Posted by Burn1911 View Post
However I remember going to Home Depot and asking where the "Tarps" were located (as in Tarpaulin) well the woman looked at me as if I had asked her why she was standing there naked!!! and I had to keep repeating the word, then describing what it was and then I said Tarpaulin - blank stare!!! and so I kept say Tarps, Tarps, Tarps (I must have sounded so funny) then it clicked and she said - oh you mean Tarps - WTF, she said it exactly as I had said it.


That's so funny, this happens to me all the time as well.. especially if I ask for water... you think they would fathom it in the restaurants if they've asked me what I want to drink.. but oh no I may as well be speaking Japanese
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Old Jun 25th 2009, 11:32 pm
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Default Re: Your opinions and anything else you can tell me

Originally Posted by dmwaslg View Post
Hello all

I am a USC and my hubby is a UKC. We married almost 9 yrs ago and have 2 kids (3 yrs and 10 wks old). We are looking to move back to the US and I am trying to mentally prepare my husband as best I can as I've been through it the other way around myself.

I left when I was 19 so didn't really experience adulthood (mortgages, dealing with health insurance, etc) in the US. I was raised on Long Island, NY but that is completely out of our price range and we are probably looking at moving to Eastern PA or around there. I have some family in NY and we do have friends there but for the most part we won't know anyone in our immediate vicinity.

A few years ago we lived 3 mo's in NY and we've been back to the US several times to a number of different states on holiday so my husband already knows some things but moving there is a whole different ball game. I'm interested in hearing everyone's thoughts and opinions on the move, culture, differences, hardships, benefits, quality of life, etc from Brits who have moved to the US.

Thanks everyone
Just wondering why you and your family are choosing to move to the US now? Do you or your husband have a job lined up?

I ask because the US is experiencing a tough recession and if at least one of you has a permanent job in the UK right now, if I were you, I'd stay put in the UK for now.

That's my 5 cents.
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Old Jun 26th 2009, 12:16 am
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Default Re: Your opinions and anything else you can tell me

Originally Posted by NC Penguin View Post
That's my 5 cents.
That's inflation for you....I remember when it used to be 2c worth
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Old Jun 26th 2009, 3:21 am
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Default Re: Your opinions and anything else you can tell me

both of you need to read Bill Bryson! I nearly fell out of my chair reading about when he and his family moved to the US "I am a stranger here myself" when he went to buy sprakle??, he had spent his whole adult life almost in the UK and he said to the hardware store people "my wife's people call it polyfiller"
some other books that have helped me (and they are all arse about face, I found reading an americans experience in the UK, more telling than vice versa) bloody confused by chuck culpepper and I finally understand footie...almost and lessons from the land of pork scratchings - a miserable yank finds happiness in the UK - Greg Gutfeld (I don't think he got under the surface as much as chuck but still insightful, I have learnt a lot! not necessarily the right stuff
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Old Jun 26th 2009, 10:02 am
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Default Re: Your opinions and anything else you can tell me

Originally Posted by made of kent View Post
both of you need to read Bill Bryson! I nearly fell out of my chair reading about when he and his family moved to the US "I am a stranger here myself" when he went to buy sprakle??, he had spent his whole adult life almost in the UK and he said to the hardware store people "my wife's people call it polyfiller"
some other books that have helped me (and they are all arse about face, I found reading an americans experience in the UK, more telling than vice versa) bloody confused by chuck culpepper and I finally understand footie...almost and lessons from the land of pork scratchings - a miserable yank finds happiness in the UK - Greg Gutfeld (I don't think he got under the surface as much as chuck but still insightful, I have learnt a lot! not necessarily the right stuff
Totally love Bill Bryson. Loved the part about the taxes, too. lol

Here's another thing to avoid - drive thrus! I have learned to hate them in my time here. It gets really frustrating to have to keep repeating yourself and still not ending up with exactly what you asked for!

And Eastern PA is not such a bad place. I am in Scranton, and it's fairly central to a lot of places. 2 hrs to NY, 2 hrs to Philly etc etc.
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Old Jun 26th 2009, 10:31 am
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Default Re: Your opinions and anything else you can tell me

Originally Posted by Burn1911 View Post
IMHO the hardest thing when we moved here, was making myself understood! I was so offended that no one knew what I was asking for when I was trying to find something in the store (notice I said store not shop!!)

It was accepting that people generally didn't understand me - I think people were just not expecting an accent and so genuinely were surprised and therefore didn't hear what I was saying.

However I remember going to Home Depot and asking where the "Tarps" were located (as in Tarpaulin) well the woman looked at me as if I had asked her why she was standing there naked!!! and I had to keep repeating the word, then describing what it was and then I said Tarpaulin - blank stare!!! and so I kept say Tarps, Tarps, Tarps (I must have sounded so funny) then it clicked and she said - oh you mean Tarps - WTF, she said it exactly as I had said it.

I really think she thought it was a trick!!!!!!! BUT I wanted to cry, it was so frustrating!!!

That was the hardest part for me, but now I just take it in my stride and mostly just spend hours in stores trying to find it myself
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Old Jun 26th 2009, 12:40 pm
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Default Re: Your opinions and anything else you can tell me

Originally Posted by JulieinAustin View Post
That's so funny, this happens to me all the time as well.. especially if I ask for water... you think they would fathom it in the restaurants if they've asked me what I want to drink.. but oh no I may as well be speaking Japanese
There's a really simple solution to the "water" problem - always ask for "un vaso de agua, por favor". Should be particularly effective in Austin.

Of course, you're in Austin now, so you should be drinking nothing but iced tea like the locals.
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