Last year I wrote the story of how, and why, I moved to London. If you haven't read it, please do, it brought back a fair few emotions for me.
I still can't believe I moved over (mostly) on my own at 19 years old. And I can't believe how much I've been through since then - some hardships, but overwhelmingly great, wonderful things.
I thought this year I'd commemorate the most 'American' things I've done/said in this short time, which have hit home that I most definitely am not British yet.
I was looking for a vodka mixer for a drinking-in-a-park-type event, and came across a huge bottle of orange squash (very potent cordial, meant for mixing 1 part with 10 parts water to make juice). Not knowing what squash was at the time, I drank a quarter of the bottle straight, then filled that quarter with vodka. The mixture of strong cordial and vodka made for a very ill Laura.
I too often pronounce names of things phonetically, instead of remembering the proud British tradition of inserting as many silent letters in words as humanly possible. Most made-fun-of examples include High Wycombe ('WY-COMB-BEE' if American, 'WIH-cum' if British), Gloucester Road ('Glow-chester' if American, 'Gloss-ter' if British) and Worchestershire ('War-CHES-ter-sheer' if American, 'Wuss-ter-shur' if British).
On numerous occasions at work I've had to get the phone number of a Scottish caller and have a colleague ring them back as I'm unable to understand them. Note, this happened much more frequently before I gained a Scottish mother-in-law!
Not knowing any better, in a family match I held a cricket bat like a baseball bat. Still not lived it down. Cricket is silly anyway.
Found a pub serving turkey sandwiches on Thanksgiving Day, in a sad attempt to not miss one of my favourite holidays.
I was very shocked to find out houses don't come standard with in-built sprinkler systems or outdoor house plugs - how does everyone plug in their Christmas lights?
I tried to get refills at a few restaurants in London before realising it's very rare here - which left me embarrassed and extra DC-less!!
Made numbers of Londoners uncomfortable by hugging them upon meeting and smiling and saying hi on the street - I soon learned that lesson after people started either crossing the road to avoid me or thought I was flirting with them! I once had someone follow me down a street winking at me because I'd smiled at him!
I think /hope that's it, that I haven't done that many other embarrassingly American things.
Here's to all the love and happiness that the UK has brought me, and another 7 here with my beautiful British friends and family!