Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Two Month Well-Expat Check Up

I can't believe it.  We've only been here for two months now.  It seems like longer.  I thought I'd take the pulse, so to speak and let you know how I'm fairing.   At one month, I was pretty much a mess (unfortunately, there are witnesses).  But at two months things are going much better.  

Of course, we have to start with the WEATHER.  It really has been a non-issue.  It's rained a few times, some days are colder than others, overcast mornings often turn into sunny afternoons.  It's the weather.  I still don't see what the fuss is all about.  I probably won't until next winter when I'm working and commuting regularly.  

As far as FOOD goes... another non-issue (except for the whole Tex-Mex thing, which you have not heard the last of).  If you can't find good food in London then you aren't looking.  There are a million options. 

Grocery shopping via Taxi
Now that we are in our own place, I'm back in the kitchen (no comments from the peanut gallery).  It's been great! Grocery shopping in the city is very different from the 'burbs.  We visit the local grocery every few days.  It's about a 10 minute walk.  Since we have to carry everything, we shop with two baskets rather than a cart (trolley, as they say here).  We sometimes take a a taxi home, but don't tell anyone.   There is a smaller shop about 3 minutes away for quick trips for milk and bread. 

I absolutely love the selection.  There are a lot of pre-made meals for two.  Great quality and easy to turn into a nice dinner.  Just add some rice and veggies.  Voila!  And don't even get me started on all of the sweets that are available.  I'm not really missing any American food items right now.  Well, maybe Diet Dr Pepper.  And Tex-Mex.  And Ranch dressing.  But, I digress.  

AND... no Target here (gasp)! I had to walk to the electronics shop to find a blow dryer.   wth?

My Oyster Card in it's cute Cath Kidston case. 
The biggest change from a month ago is that I'm starting to feel comfortable in my own skin again.  I found out that I passed the fourth and final exam for my CPA, which was a great relief.  

I'm also learning how to move in a big city.  There is a completely different rhythm to life.  You have to figure out that rhythm to be comfortable moving through it.  I'm doing a lot of walking which is great, as long as you are on your toes and get the hell out of the way of the vehicles.  I've been exploring by bus to learn my way around.  I'm also using the Tube more on my own and I no longer hold my breath the whole way. 

I've even had some much needed Girl Time.  On Sunday, I went to brunch with 11 other American expat/bloggers.  It was fantastic!  They are all ages and vocations and have been here for varied lengths of time.  A few are married to Brits.  They are an amazing group of women.  It was nice to hear that some of things I'm feeling are perfectly normal.  They've all been there and I soaked up the support.   We are planning another get together next month.

Things are still not settled and I don't know where we'll be on my three month check-up.  I still often feel like a fish out of water and I miss my family and friends desperately.  But, I was walking along the other day and suddenly realized that I am actually very happy!   I even confessed to hubby that I'm falling in love with London.   It is a spectacular city and there is a lot to love. 

I'm not quite sure which phase of emigration I am in.  I thinks it's more like a merry-go-round...  I experience all four in one week, day or even hour.   But, all in all, a pretty good check-up I'd say.  Now, I'm off to the grocery.   And I'm going to try out the taco joint around the corner.  Wish me luck! 



  1. I wish Oreo would hire me that would be amazing! haha, your cookie sounds great! I'm so glad to hear things are going better for you 2 months on! I know, no target is a blow for me too! What is the Tex Mex issue? on my other blog you can click the label Mexican and last summer I tried out 15 of Londons Mexican restaurants and blogged about them - I did a top 5 round up too, so if you're looking for good Mexicans there are plenty around. Obviously I'm not used to the real authentic Mexican that Texas can offer but to my English palate I've reviewed the places I think are pretty good :) and Santo which is my fave is right in Notting Hill so not far from you!

  2. Thanks for finding my site. It's really fun to find yours at such a pinnacle moment in your life! I remember my first days in Sweden, oh, so, well! I'm a northern gal, by birth, but even I still miss TEX-MEX and have even requested my own tortilla iron... which my sister deemed too heavy. I say, when you miss real TEX MEX, let's just see about that! Wishing you smooth and exciting days ahead! If you're frequenting Indian Restuarants... a nice Papadum is a rather good way to break the habit!

  3. Such a great update! You seem to be enjoying everything, despite the roller coaster of emotions that comes with being an expat. So amazing that you found a group of women in the same situation that you can relate to and talk with- socializing really is key. For the first month we didn't go out or do anything, and I was feeling pretty bad by the end of it but then I made plans to go out and hang with some friends, and since then I feel more human. Good luck on the upcoming month! You will be fine :)


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