Friday, February 22, 2013

Life in the USA: Month 11

It's almost been one whole year since we moved to the USA... Eeeep! Life here feels a lot more familiar nowadays but just like at 1 month3 months6 months and 9 months in, I'm often still reminded that we are in a foreign country...

The good

- The American accent hasn't rubbed off on Mr Oliver. Now, I know he's only 18 months so his talk is still a lot of gibberish. But to hear him say Mummy the other day - my heart was filled with joy! He could definitely do worse then a Cali accent, but still... I want him to have a bit of Aussie :-)

- It feels like you can kinda do what you will with rental properties. I don't mean you can trash them, but it's totally ok to stick a nail in the wall to hang a painting! Coming from Australia (where doing something as horrific as putting a nail in the wall can result in a lifelong black tick against your name), it's a welcome relief. Bye-bye dodgy 3M hangers that I can never seem to remove from the wall successfully...

- My biggest happy about life in the USA, one year in: all the lovely friends we've made! Seriously. I love my friends all over the world, but I haven't felt such a connection to a group of ladies so soon after moving anywhere before. I think being a Mum has been a HUGE help - it not only widens your social network and gives you a way to meet other women when you're not working, but also gives you common ground in those early days of making friends. The people we've met here have been such a huge blessing and I'm so, so very thankful.

The bad

- What do you imagine when you think of California? Sunshine? Clear blue skies? Beautiful beaches? Surfers? Shorts weather year round? Well, all of those things exist but I've come to realise that life is a little different up here in northern California. The beaches are too cold to swim at, even in summer and winter is long, dreary and cold. And when it rains, it pours. I'm well and truly ready for summer!

- Credit card companies send you offers constantly. The amount of junk I get related to this is unbelievable, especially given how hard it used to be to get one in Aus (not to mention Holland, where we could never ever get one because of our visas!). It's no wonder so many people struggle with debt when you're forever being bombarded with these offers.

- This is just not a tea drinking nation. The tea shops are few and far between (I miss you, T2!) and the teabag selection at the supermarket is laughable. Costco doesn't even stock tea in bulk! It's coffee, coffee everywhere :-( I can't get enough of the smell, especially since Mitch started roasting his own coffee at home but how I wish the taste didn't make me so sick!

The hmmmmmmmmm moments

- Words that will be met with a blank look: clucky, cuppa, esky, doggie bag and fortnight. That would translate to: baby fever, cup of tea, icebox, box and bi-weekly!

- 30 is getting closer and closer and yet I STILL keep getting carded when buying wine at the supermarket. Even when I have bags under my eyes, clothes covered in toddler slobber and said child in tow... I'll take it as a compliment. I'm sure the day will come when I wish I was being asked for ID!


  1. Yes, NorCal weather is NOT like the scenes from Baywatch people expect! It's its own beast!

    Credit card offers are so annoying--and a total waste of paper IMO.

    The only word I knew from your list was "cuppa". I thought esky would be an eskimo!

    Glad you've made lots of friends here--that helps so much with feeling homesick--and feeling like you are part of the community!


  2. I love hearing about how an expat in America feels, as I usually hear from American expats abroad. I'll go ahead and wish you a happy American anniversary! =)

  3. Sweet friend, you just move on down here to the South and I'll teach Mr. Oliver how to talk with a drawl, and we LOVE our sweet tea. ;)

    C'mon now, Texas beats California any day. ;)

    I'm with you on the CC offers. I get more junk mail than anything else. Yuck.

  4. I miss people asking me if I'd like a cuppa. Oh, Scotland...

    There are a few specialty tea shops in Arizona that have a great selection. Maybe you can find them in CA, too!

  5. Interesting entry, now I know what is it like living in the other side of the world. :)

  6. You have such an interesting perspective! I am so ready for summer too. Have you checked World Market for teas? And though not a tea shop, most coffee places so serve tea :)

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  8. This made me laugh. So fun to hear the differences. Yes, yes we do love our coffee here! I think we are slowly embracing tea, but most people still like their coffee!
    And you'll probably get carded well into your 50's. What gets me is that they now card for cough medicine. I am 32, with 3 little kids, and they asked for my ID to buy cough medicine. That is ridiculous!


Thanks for reading, your comments make my day :-)


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