It’s been one year since I first blogged. One year (almost) since I quit the London rat race. And now nine months on US soil (and I’m still not visa legal! Urgh.)
Nine months isn’t a long time in the grand scheme of ‘forever’ is it? I mean I haven’t even had my first full-on American Halloween yet (eight weeks and counting!). But it’s more than enough time to start looking back at things in the UK with rose-tinted sunglasses.
Ironically, some of the things I used to complain about the most in London, are now some of the things I miss the most. Or at least the things I took for granted the most. So today, in true stereotypical Brit style, I am whining about life on the flip-flop side. Where the grass isn’t always that much greener.
Here are some of the things I miss:
NOT having to worry about sun screen every day. I know how ridiculous and ungrateful that sounds. I used to bitch about the London rain ALL the time – mostly because we were car-less back then and had to do mile long hikes to the nursery with two kids in the pouring rain. Do you know how hard it is to push a double stroller and hold an umbrella? Impossible. BUT do you know what is also impossible? Having to apply sunscreen to a 4 year old and 2 year old several times a day and staying sane. It is some sort of equalizing punishment for moving to a sunnier climate. At least in England you only have to wrestle the littles a couple of times a year to smear the stuff on. Here, we have tears and arguments EVERYDAY! Every four hours. By the end of round 1 at 8am, my clothes are stained with cream, I’m cranky and reaching for the first of many sugar fixes (at least until it’s wine o’ clock).
Public Tranport – Yep. I am at that point where I even miss the bloody sweaty Central Line. That whiffy, armpit graveyard / cattle truck that I used to call my commute. Because the public transport in the city here suuuuuuuuuucks! I miss having every corner of the city at my fingertips. And I miss being able to see my husband get merry on a date night instead of being the sensible DD, while I drool in to my giant USA sized Gin and Slims. God bless the London Night buses and all who sail, puke and wee in her.
Danny Dyer – Major cockney crush. I didn’t expect to miss him as much as I do. Or at least that cheeky accent. I missed these London tones so much that I’ve subscribed to a service here that lets me watch Eastenders on my laptop. I always used to complain at how depressing Eastenders was. But now I look forward to my weekly catch up – -it’s my London fix and weekly ‘visit’ home.
British Driving Etiquette – I despised everything about learning to drive in England, because I’ve never wanted to be a driver. But now, while I am flying around freeways on the other side of the road, I MISS BRITISH DRIVERS. They seem more polite, less aggressive, and perhaps less distracted at high-speed. Over here, I’ve seen so many people on their phones on the freeway. Even someone eating their dinner, fork and all, while driving. Oh, and at least Brits seem to know how to use their bloody indicators! Lane changers on the freeway, omg, they ‘ain’t got no time for blinkers.
Sausages. It’s surprisingly hard to get a good sausage over here. This is not a euphemism! They are all about chicken sausages though….which just feels a betrayal to sausage-kind. I miss bangers! Don’t even get me started on the bacon here….
The NHS – It’s not the quality of care I’m talking about here in America, but the back office business side of healthcare that I have issues with. We have seen some truly wonderful Doctors here, especially for Harry, but I just can’t make sense of the hefty monthly charges, deductibles and the mountains of paperwork each month. URGH!
British Pubs – there are a good few British themed pubs over here, but none of them have mastered that British pub smell.You know the one, the musty wet dog / beer stained carpet smell.THAT smells like home. I miss it. That and the vulgar Bingo hall style carpets.
And of course, to all you Brits reading this (thanks!), I miss YOU most of all. I used to whine about being so far away from you all living in deepest darkest zone 6. I used to whine about the lack of visitors to Essex….but being 8 hrs behind you all, and now 5,000 miles away, what I wouldn’t give for a quick 2 hr trek across stair-filled London transport with a stroller to see you! xxxx