Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 590

The expat child

The expat child can have a confusing time. For example, you live/are from England, but you currently live in America.

As this map, drawn my very own expat child shows…

Confusing....

Confusing….

He is tremendously patriotic! Whenever I say to someone ‘We live in Maryland’, he retorts with ‘No, we live in England, we’re just here on a loooooong holiday.’ :)

Road names in Columbia, MD

The road names in the place we live never cease to amuse and amaze me.

For example: Whistling Winds Walk; Wild Orange Gate; Summer Sky Path; Sunlit Water Way; Distant Thunder Trail; Trailing Moss Gate; Floating Clouds Path.

Columbia takes its street/road names from famous works of art and literature: for example, the neighborhood of Hobbit’s Glen takes its street names from the work of J R R Tolkien; Running Brook, from the poetry of Robert Frost; and Clemens Crossing, from the work of Mark Twain. How cool.

220px-Hobbit's_Glen_at_Harper's_Choice

Soliciting in the USA

Outside many shops and businesses in the town where I live I see many signs up which say ‘No soliciting’, meaning they don’t want anyone a) knocking on their door trying to sell stuff and b) they don’t want hookers hanging about. Fair enough.

No-Soliciting-Sign-K-7506

But the other day I saw a sign on the front door of a residential home which read ‘No solicitors’, which read to me, with my British head on, as ‘if you are one of the two types of practicing lawyers in England, the other being a barrister, then you can’t come in’.

Ain’t that just a funny thing?!

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Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 589

Funny things I hear in the USA…

I hear funny things like this, in the school playground to me….

‘Oh you’re going back to England? What season is it there right now? Do they have the same seasons as the States……?’

I just don’t know how I kept my sarcastic British gob shut for that. :)

Spring, another season that we share :)

Spring, another season that we share :)

Close to London?

And how many times am I asked how close/far my home town is to London? Sooooo many times! Now I just say I will be living in London back in the UK, cos I can’t be arsed to explain anymore :)

Bucket list USA

The USA bucket list is slowly being crossed off as we count down to our UK return. Philly, Bahamas, Canada, wine festivals, Americans-do-British-tea-parties, adult pirate ship booze cruises…..

Had to be done!

Had to be done!

All very important things don’t ya know!

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Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 588

American foods I’ve never even heard of/never want to eat…

I still have some foods on my American bucket list. Grits – check (gross); gumbo – check (love); S’mores – check (gross).

Like, I’ve never had a PB&J (Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich). Yes, really.

I think I could stomach this one (if it were almond butter ;) )

I think I could stomach this one (if it were almond butter ;) )

Nor a Sloppy Joe.

A sloppy joe is a sandwich, consisting of ground beef, onions, tomato sauce or ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and other seasonings, served on a hamburger bun.

A sloppy joe is a sandwich, consisting of ground beef, onions, tomato sauce or ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and other seasonings, served on a hamburger bun.

Nor a Burgoo, whatever that is.

I like the look of this, though I hear it is often made with squirrel or possum meat..... ugh.

I like the look of this, though I hear it is often made with squirrel or possum meat….. ugh.

And here are some of the more crazy foods that I will avoid – some I’d never heard of until a Buzzfeed list of crazy-ass American foods circulated today on my newsfeed.

Donut Burger

AKA The Heartstopper

AKA The Heartstopper

“Concoctions: Bacon Smores. Burgers between doughnuts. Fried cereal cheese puffs. I mean, I see half these weird food combinations and it’s just revolting. American food gets such a bad rep and these things explain why. However, I will attest that throughout the U.S. there actually are really amazing homemade and healthy traditional food representing those areas. Not all the U.S. food is a sugar-injected, deep-fried nightmare.” Jac Connolly, Facebook.

Jello Salad

WTF?

WTF?

I don’t get this one. How is that salad? Just cos it’s green….?

Koolickles

Yuck

Yuck

If you have a dill pickle, a glass of Kool-Aid and a want for a sweet and sour, the natural thing to do is to steep said pickle into the electrically-colored sweet Kool-Aid drink. That’s what happened in the Delta region of Mississippi, and it’s how the Kool-Aid pickle came to exist. Such things should never have been invented.

I think I need to have a full on Americana food eating party do get this lot down me before I go…… other suggestions welcome! :)

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Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 587

Babyshowers USA

Babyshowers are a very USA thing, much like Halloween celebrations, and I like it when America does these sorts of things. They just do it better than our attempts in the UK. That is a UKDesperateHousewifeUSA fact, like it or lump it. :)

IMG_0570 IMG_0571 IMG_0574

American babyshowers are undoubtedly bigger and bolder. I’ve yet to experience a British attempt, but I have a feeling it just won’t compare!

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Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 586

Spring Maryland style

Well, first day of Spring here on the East Coast looks like this:

Wing or Springter...?

Wing or Springter…?

It sucks. Big time.

Why I’m slightly partial to the USA

An American friend yesterday gave an excellent description of the differences between the UK and the USA.

The UK is like the grown up and the USA is like the slightly rebellious adolescent in comparison.

I wonder if that is maybe why I connect so well with the USA :)

Walmart

Oh I can’t do Walmart.  I did it once. I can’t do it again. Yesterday I had a meeting in a coffee shop next to Walmart and I had 20 minutes to kill, but I couldn’t venture inside.

Not for me!

Not for me!

Yes, I’m a Walmart snob. #sorrynotsorry

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Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 585

UK culture in USA schools – talent show time!

Harry’s school is holding a ‘cultural talent show’ whereby the children are encouraged to ‘demonstrate a talent reflective of your culture’ and ‘take to the fashion show ramp while modeling your cultural outfit’.

I’m really tempted to dress him as George Crawley from Downton Abbey and have him sipping tea as his talent, saying ‘Where are those damn servants? I need a refill!’ whilst pointing at the teapot, just to indulge the American penchant for Downton Abbey.

Cute as a button!

Cute as a button!

Thoughts welcome!

Other suggestions on this from Facebook have been:

Kevin the Teenager….

'I bloody hate you!'

‘I bloody hate you!’

Vyvyan Basterd from The Young Ones

I think I would be the only one laughing if this happened!

I think I would be the only one laughing if this happened!

I’m sure Harry will choose something far more conservative, but I can but dream about making an amusing final British statement at school…. so, maybe this…? #justwrong!

I might get a letter about the inappropriateness of dressing him up as a British redcoat from the American war of 1812!

I might get a letter about the inappropriateness of dressing him up as a British redcoat from the American war of 1812!

My virgin babyshower – a USA phenomenon

I’m off to my first USA babyshower this weekend. What will I make of it! It’s not just an USA phenomenon anymore, though – the UK has adopted this. But, much like Halloween, I suspect the Americans do it bigger and better, and with more bows, so I look forward to reporting back.

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Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 584

USA is THE place!

As I prepare to depart Uncle Sam’s shores, I hear that the USA is becoming the most desirable to move to from the UK.  Apparently almost half of UK residents admit they would not miss the over-crowding and traffic in the nation’s towns and cities in the event they moved abroad.

USA!

USA!

When I went back I was very aware that the UK felt so much smaller and more cramped than the USA. Space is a thing here! And yes, my house felt that much smaller and cramped too!

These are the stats from a survey by reallymoving.com: Around a seventh (14 per cent) of respondents aspire to move to live in the USA, closely followed by Australia (13 per cent) and Spain (12 per cent). New Zealand and France ranked joint fourth with eight per cent of the vote respectively.

The survey also asked UK residents what they would and wouldn’t miss about the British Isles if they were to move abroad.

I think this would resonate with a lot of Brits I know out here!

What would UK residents miss if they moved abroad?

  • Family and friends (79 per cent)
  • The NHS (46 per cent)
  • Native language (28 per cent)
  • The sense of humour (24 per cent)
  • Food (23 per cent)
  • The BBC (12 per cent)
  • History/Heritage (10 per cent)
  • Takeaway restaurants (7 per cent)
  • Weather (7 per cent)
  • Sunday shop openings (6 per cent)
  • Newspapers (6 per cent)
  • Political stability (6 per cent)
  • The Royal Family (4 per cent)
British weather!

British weather!

But what about the things they wouldn’t miss….?

What would UK residents miss least if they moved abroad?

  • Weather (68 per cent)
  • Over-crowding (47 per cent)
  • Traffic (45 per cent)
  • Pollution (34 per cent)
  • Commuting (33 per cent)
  • CCTV/Surveillance (15 per cent)
  • Food (8 per cent)
I do not miss this!

I do not miss this!

So, expats, what do you miss / not miss…..?!

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