I had dinner with one of my fellow American expats last week, and we had an interesting discussion about our lives in England. We find that we have spare time here in a way that we never had in the US. We find that the expectations on us for hard work are not missing completely, but are certainly not present to the extent that they were in the states. Perhaps paralleling the different attitudes towards vacations, we find that we are expected to spend our out-of-office hours not working. We have time to relax on the weekends, time for social endeavors, time for concerts and movies, and–most importantly for me–time for making music.
So today I celebrate something positive about my UK life, in the midst of what has been a rough week of culture shock. This may be the one thing that keeps me in Europe on a permanent basis (I know my family will be unhappy to hear that) even if I grow weary from my dealings with the English. They’ve got this one right and it would be very hard for me to go back.