Monday, 19 January 2015

How Long Until I'm British? - 7 Years in England

Today, the 19th of January, is always a special day. I don't celebrate per say, but always try to take note of it - it's the day I moved to England, 7 short years ago.

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!


  1. I would stand out like a sore thumb there... and everyone would laugh at me... and yes Cricket is a silly game... xox

  2. Aww, reading this made me smile :)! xxx


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