I have identified a few more delights to compliment, rather than complain about, in my adopted home.
- I love that the shopping malls are open to walk through even when the stores are closed. (Or at least the three near me are!)
- I love that occasionally if you walk through one of these, one or more stores may be surprisingly and randomly open “for a sale” to some normal shopping hour like 9 pm, instead of closing at 5:30 like all the other shops.
- I love the fact that to get to the gym, I walk past a “Fruiterer” (Less than three weeks since joining, and I’ve been to the gym 9 times–that’s a successful rate of actually going thrice a week!)
- I love when people get confused because I can’t remember what “N.B.” stands for or means. I swear, they use it ALL the time here.
- I love that the first year college students in England are called Freshers, not Freshmen
- I love that one of my colleagues at work (who thinks I’m thick, he’s constantly defining British words for me as though I had just arrived last week) sent me an email to note that the printer preference for a document I sent him was set to “US Letter”, but “here in the UK we use the European standard A4”–as though I might have made it through the last two years without noticing that! My laptop stays American-ish, my work computer has a Brit keyboard (on which I can never find useful things like “#”) and a Brit printer. And who cares, just print the dang thing! Actually, the truth is I do have my home printer set on A4 paper now because I did run out of US paper, but actually the truth is I never print from MS Office, I do everything as pdf so the setting was an Office anomaly. (But if you need a good laugh, read this about A4…)
- I love that one of my colleagues at work gave me a little American flag on a stick for my office, and that it’s the first American flag I’ve ever owned! I have a Norwegian one, but have never, ever owned a US one. I told the secretaries (“PA”s) on my floor that I was going to buy the best of Americana on iTunes and blast it down the hall when they suggested I needed to affix it to the back of my office chair.
I’m sure this will be a list that keeps getting added to, just as the “things that suck about my life as an expat” rants will continue. Although I think the rants are far fewer and the general sense of amusement greater these days.