Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 379

The Deer Truck

I saw something that I’d not seen before in the USA yesterday and it took me a bit by surprise.

It was the dead deer pick up truck.

Yes, it was the truck that goes along the roads and picks up the dead deer who have been walloped by drivers and are then at the roadside dead as doornails. 😦

I wish it had been a covered truck :(

I wish it had been a covered truck 😦

Brits in the USA

I love hearing the stories of other Brits in the USA and how they find the whole experience. Thomas reads my blog and I asked him to share his journey so far. It makes me realise how very different experiences can be in different parts of the country and how being an expat can be tough at times.

This is Thomas’s story.

My wife, daughter and I left New Malden, Surrey in October 2010 aboard the Queen Mary 2 to the USA. (My wife’s aunt emigrated to the USA after the second world war aboard the original Queen Mary ).

Coming over to the States on the Queen Mary

Coming over to the States on the Queen Mary

After a brief stay in Connecticut we arrived in Minnesota in December 2010. The first thing we noticed was how big everything was compared to where we were from. We arrived just after a big snow storm so we also noticed the tremendous amount of snow around. We found a nice (though expensive) apartment which is lovely and close to a lot of amenities (schools, grocery stores). But, we found the first year here very hard.

We did not know anyone and did not know the area, and often we regretted coming here. We also found the food too sweet and processed compared to the UK, we still do. We eventually got jobs (we won our visa on the Visa lottery) and got to meet some really lovely people. People here are generally very friendly and polite. We put our daughter into school where she made a lot of friends. However, we do still think the UK has a better education system than the USA, but she has more of a social life than in the UK.

Thomas's landscape

Thomas’s landscape

Life here in Minnesota is more relaxed and laid back than New Malden, (we like the relaxed life) but we do find that the USA is behind in many areas. The local banks charge for everything and their system seems more complicated and stress inducing than the banks in the UK. The health system is basically unaffordable to us and that may drive us back to the UK. We are ineligible to get health insurance as we are not citizens (we checked this with an immigration lawyer).

The language differences, though funny, are no problem and we do not drive (we cannot afford a car as our wages are so low). We have met so many lovely people, though, so they drive us places.

Snowy Minnesota

Snowy Minnesota

Overall, however, it has been an amazing experience. We will miss this place when we leave as we have made so many friends and there are a lot of positives, but an equally amount of negatives to living here.

So, we have mixed feelings, but no regrets. We love the laid back lifestyle and the social interactions and the friends we have made. But the cost of living is too high for us and the wages too low.

Thank you, Thomas, for an interesting, and very honest, account of another British family’s time in the USA. It’s not always happy times and fun for all, so this captures the hard choices made by transitioning and taking on a new life in a new country. Thought-provoking.

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2 Responses to Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 379

  1. Andy says:

    Roadkill. Them’s some good eatin’ (or so I’ve been led to believe)

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