Friday, February 3, 2012

1 Month Well-Expat Check up

I can't believe it's already February!  We've been here for about a month now, so I thought I'd do an update on how I'm dealing after my first month as an expat.

Where else would we start but with... THE WEATHER.  I've lived "up North," so I know a little about cold weather.   The weather here has been decent this month.  Mostly blue skies, there has been a little mist and fog.  It has turned very cold recently, but shivers-cold, not crunchy-nostrils-cold (if you've lived "up North" then you get this).   I understand that it's been an unseasonably mild January and snow is in the forecast.  But, so far, so good. 

Next... the food.  The food hasn't been too big of an issue.  As I'm currently living in an English household, we do have potatoes every day.  But, you'll never hear me complain about that.  The eating out options are varied.  I do miss the comfort of going to a chain restaurant and knowing exactly what's on the menu.  Each time we go out I have to spend 20 minutes actually reading the menu.

I can feel myself getting closer to Phase 2 as I'm starting to really miss certain things.  I've managed to come up with a short list, just a few things off the top of my head.

  • My daughter.  This a constant ache that I can't really write about.  I'm sure most of you know the feeling of not being able to touch someone that you desperately long to touch.  Thank God for FaceTime!!! 
  •  My wonderful, crazy family.   I miss being with people that really know me, get me and love me anyway.
  • My friends.  I desperately need a girls night out complete with wine, gossiping, bitching, wine, trying on shoes, wine and laughter.  
  • Wendy's Apple Pecan Chicken Salad.  I had this for lunch every day for two years and I'm suffering from withdrawal.  
  • Iced Tea.  I think my in-laws would disown me if I made iced tea in their kitchen.  
  • Accounting.  Yes, that makes me a geek, but I really, really miss my job!!  I've even stopped dreaming in debits and credits!  I have got to get back to work... soon!
  • Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.  There are lots of chocolate options here, but milk chocolate tastes funny.  Not quite sure why. 
  • Kitty purrs and doggie kisses.  I've tried snuggling with my stuffed hippo, but it's just not the same.  
  • Wearing flip-flops
  • My garden tub
  • Tex-Mex with proper chips & salsa
  • A decent Cosmo.  I don't really like beer and while G&T's are wonderful... I miss a good Cosmo.  I will have to add a Cosmo Quest to the Queso Quest
  • American TV.  I've missed the new Bachelor.  Pout!  And I'm missing the new Glee episodes!!  I think it's on here somewhere, but I haven't found it yet. 
  • My car.  I miss driving.  Public transport is great, but I can't handle not driving.  I'm going to go ahead and take some lessons.  Locals, beware.
  • Cooking.  No snickering, I'm serious.  I miss having a kitchen and cooking. 
  • Proper Mani & Pedi.  I went to a salon and it was a'ight, but the fill didn't involve any power tools, which is just wrong.  And the pedi involved me putting my feet in a English girls lap, which was even more wrong.  I need to find someplace with power tools and massage chairs.  Another quest!
I also miss feeling comfortable in my own skin.  We are staying in the home Matt grew up in.  His parents have been wonderful!  But, I am certainly odd man out.  At moments it feels like I'm "American" before anything else. Everything I say and do is filtered through a British worldview and an inordinate amount of our family conversations involve what I've got all wrong.  However, I don't care if you call tinfoil "ah-loo-MIN-yoo-um", I will continue to say "ah-LOO-min-um!"  And, by the way, that does not make me wrong (stomping foot).

Lastly, I miss having my own space.  We've been living out of suitcases for a month now and as you can tell from the pouting and foot stomping, it's starting to wear on my charming, cheerful, Texas personality, ya'll.  And quite honestly, some days I would be very happy with my old, cozy comfort zone.  But, time to "quit the whinging."  Hopefully, things will be more settled by my 2-month well baby expat check up.  

Now, where's my princess bandaid and lollipop! 


  1. I can certainly understand most of your list. Although moving to SLC wasn't as extreme as your move, there are a lot of parallels. Hang in there, as time passes, you will acclimate and things will get easier...except the part about missing your family and friends that is!

    1. I know you are thrilled to be getting back to SA! And I'm sure your kids are thrilled. That's the hardest part, being away from Jessica. But, aren't you glad that you made the move to SLC and everything that you experienced?

  2. I can completely relate to this post. Reminds me of my one month blog post about adjusting to life in Sweden I haven't reached "Phase 2" yet, but I am certain it will come and only hasn't because I have been here for longer periods on visits. (I never heard of those phases, they make complete sense and I would love to include them in my own blog when the time comes) I’ve added your blog to my “Expats around the world” blogroll. I hope my readers enjoy your blog as much as I do. :)
    Meg ~

    1. Hi Meg,

      It was pretty cool to go to your blog & see mine listed. Thanks for doing that! I've saved yours and plan to spend some time reading this afternoon.

      I can't imagine the challenges of doing this in a country where English is not the primary language! You are a brave woman!!

      I look forward to reading more. And Sweden is on our list of must see places. I'll need to get some recommendations from you. Thanks for commenting.

  3. Oh, the iced tea! And iced coffee! Even in the local Starbucks -- the one place I could find iced coffee -- there were still just a few solitary ice cubes. You'd think ice cubes were made of gold. Then you see a typical Brit freezer, and you realize they might as well be. Last time I asked for iced tea in a restaurant, I got a pot of english breakfast and a glass with two ice cubes in it. Hahaha! You're doing ok -- enjoy the ride -- "oh the places you'll go"!

    1. I might have to break down this afternoon and make some iced tea with TONS of ice!!!! I'm feeling rebellious!

  4. Reese's peanut butter cups - you can get those in most Tesco's and Asda - Asda have even started selling bags of Reese's miniatures in the past month which I am more than a little excited about!!

    1. I found some at a sweet shop in Windsor this weekend along with some PopTarts. I'm glad you commented... I've followed your blog & plan to do some reading this afternoon. BTW, my daughter works in a cupcake shop! I'll check out that blog, too.

    2. I somehow never get replies so only just saw this. Your daughter works in a cupcake shop? whaaat? so jealous! I'm guessing she's back in the States from what I've read :( - what is the name of it? I'd love to look it up! Glad you managed to find some, and pop tarts - yum!

    3. She is in San Antonio. I miss her like crazy! She works at Cupcake Couture. I'm craving cupcakes today! (the poptarts are all gone, sadly!)

  5. I feel some of your pain. Living on the other side of the country, we can NOT get good Tex Mex here and no good Chinese either. What's up with that.

    Hang in there!


    1. I had Indian for the first time this weekend. It was pretty good! I don't think it will surpass Tex Mex but it will do for a while. I'm anxious to get settled somewhere so I can make some enchiladas!!

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