I started a list of things that only American ex-pats living in London would comprehend a couple months ago and have now compiled over 22 things. I thought I’d share a bit of them with you…
1. When people at shops think you are a tourist because of your accent.
“Now if you could just wait until it says ‘remove card’ before taking your card out, otherwise it’ll void the transaction.”
Please, take a minute and notice that I have a CHIP-AND-PIN card, therefore I am not a tourist!
2. Having to pay for another soft drink when you should be entitled to a free refill.
3. Embarrassing moments when you forget the lingo and hand a customer a bag of chips when he actually wanted fries.
4. And then have all of your English colleagues applaud when you finally say things like ‘rubbish’ instead of trash.
5. When you learn that there is more to beer than just Bud Lite.
6. When you just expect to get time off for Thanksgiving and then remember it isn’t an actual holiday.
7. Or when you go to a traditional English christmas dinner and get served turkey and then you get confused because you think you are celebrating Thanksgiving.
8. Explaining where you are from and why you moved to London for like the millionth time.
9. Getting a weird look when you say you moved from somewhere hot to end up in somewhere….not hot.
10. Getting used to the idea that police in the U.K. do not have guns and then freaking out when you go home because just about anyone in the U.S. can get one.
11. That feeling of joy when you find an American sweet that is nearly impossible to find.
12. The moment when you comprehend references from shows like Peep Show! or Father Ted
13. When you start watching the original British versions of your favourite shows and realise how much better they are.
14. The first time you go to your new GP and realise you don’t have a co-pay. Also, you get birth control for free.
15. In case you didn’t read number fourteen…birth control is free. FREE, people!
16. Learning how to say words like “twat” correctly. (Rhymes with ‘bat’ not ‘swat’).
17. When you get hungry on a Sunday and realise that NOTHING is open.
18. When you get hungry at 10 p.m. on a weekday and realise that NOTHING is open.
19. When you get used to walking everywhere or taking public transport and then you go back home and wonder why your family and friends drive somewhere that is literally 5 minutes away.
20. When you feel a bit silly because you are the only one celebrating on the 4th of July.
21. The moment when people celebrate and you are sitting there thinking, “what on Earth is Burns Day?”.
…last but not least
22. Having to explain to people that Chipotle is not REAL Mexican food!
For all of you American Ex-Pats out there…this was for you.
Don’t worry, I feel your pain.