As we prepare to make the jump to the UK and as many are now about to go the other way . . . I thought it might not be a bad idea to think of things that might come as a shock to the UK partners coming to the USA.
Homesickness strikes everyone and little things can seem big and while I know there are tons of Brit Expat sites I figured this is not such a bad idea. I just know that it can be just as hard for a UK spouse coming to the USA as it is for us going there.
Here are a few of mine (note some might be southern).
*People get tipped here in the USA.
* Many states will not let you take your drivers license test in the rain.
* Footie games are on at odd hours of the morning if at all, and cricket is hard to come by without paying a good chunck of cash.
*We really do say, "Have a nice day!"
*Be prepared for homesickness at the 3 month and 6 month mark.
*You will almost certainly need a car (unless you live in a place like NYC). Our public transport is spotty and non-existent in most places.
*You will find many people that love your accent and some that think of you just as a "fur-in-er."
*Be prepared to feel like a kid. It will be the small things that you are so used to doing from driving to self scan checkouts that will throw you for a loop.
*Please try to refrain from saying you need a fag badly. Some people know what it is and in some parts it might get you in trouble.
*The whole street layout is wacky and depending on where you live the traffic circulation signs can be just as bad or worse than the UK. We like our numbers not town names here. (Note ATL has really bad signage....)
*Do not eat fried chicken, ribs, pizza with a fork and knife.
*It is okay to eat toast, a sandwhich, chips/crisps on a paper towel.
*Our detergent is quite strong so please RINSE!
*Do not try to be strong and not put on bug repellant. The mosquitoes will get to you....I don't care how strong you think you are. Be prepared for a possible allergic reaction to the bites. Claritin (OTC) works great to reduce the swelling from bug bites and other allergic reactions.
*Make sure you have good insurance -the medical bills can be staggering without it.
*We celebrate EVERY little holiday not by having a day off, but by taking up two aisles at WalMart with nics-nacs and junk for said holiday.
*You will not have more than two weeks holiday until you have worked at one place for 5 years. In some cases these two weeks will not be able to be taken together. Things like Easter Monday do not exist here.
That's mine for now . . .