• Do you have the patience and humility to be an Adult Child?
When I moved here my husband and I were very much still newlyweds, and me being a strong American female I thought I could do everything as soon as I arrived - be a full partner and carry half of the responsibilities.
I was wrong. I didn't understand a thing, and constantly felt I was letting down my husband. I had to ask him about everything. I had to ask people to repeat themselves constantly, re-explain everything, and generally try to get things in writing for decoding later (especially utility bills!).
After a bit I started to feel paranoid, like I was the only one who didn't know how to do it and worried people were taking advantage of me. I got my hackles up on several occasions and looked like a real ass, but I was just desperate to show that I was no dummy.
One thing that did help me, especially in running a household over here, was reading Which? magazine. I realized that there are some big problems with the buraucracy in this country and it wasn't just me.
Now I just accept that I'm going to get it wrong sometimes, but I'm starting to get it right more often than not - and it only took 2.5 yrs.
• You're already going to sound different. Can you accept that fact that you might look different to everyone else due to your ethnicity?
In the States its relatively easy to find pockets of Italians, Mexicans, Germans, Polish, etc. I have not found that to be the case so much over here.
I'm half Mexican-Indian and half German. I look funny by American standards but over here I'm downright wonky. I miss seeing other people who share my physical features and cultural history. I often times feel like I stick out due to my breeding, and although I know I should embrace my difference, there are days I wish I could blend in even if I didn't open my mouth.
My husband has been great trying to search out Mexican things for me here, and one night he took me to a 'Mexican' restaurant in our area. The place is called 'Dusk till Dawn' and although they advertise Mexican cuisine, its about as Mexican as your local Balti House. Their idea of Mexican decor is a Mexican flag tied in a knot with a Confederate flag! And from there it went downhill - refried kidney beans (
), saffron-flavored rice (
), naan bread for tortillas....( :\\\'().
Now I save my £ and have the ingredients and cooking-equipment sent over to make my own ethnic food from scratch. I also bring back my kitchen linens from the States to at least make my home a bit more familiar.