There is a common arc to the story of an American expat here. But of course the Chapter 1 always depends on why someone moved. I suppose we can distill the possibilities down to two main categories: Desire or Job Requirement. Because I am in the Desire camp, the first many months of getting settled and sorted and accepted were easier to swallow. Not that they were easy. Just easier. It was my/our idea to move after all.
Jessica, on the other hand, is in the (spouse’s) Job Requirement category. Her common story arc is in the appreciation phase, after a (hopefully short-lived) homesick period. And I am glad her mom found me in the blogosphere. Because sister, I hear what you’re saying: this country just doesn’t get the whole salad bar thing. Their loss. And ours as expats.
So I am reminded… what quirky things can I write about today?
Well, for starters- have I ever mentioned that 99.9% of all greeting cards for sale in the UK are wrapped in plastic?
It is so strange, environmentally destructive, needlessly time-consuming and yet, I am so pleased to have crisp, clean cards (always connected to their envelope mate) to purchase. Oh England with your plastic-wrapped cards. I heart you, I do.
I also heart you because if you ask for tea at a pub, you might just get this brought to your table.
Also, have I mentioned the texting thing?
Europe has always been lightyears ahead of the U.S. in all things cell/mobile phone. Here we pay for street parking by text, top up phone minutes by text, can speak to doctors/get prescriptions by text, get confirmation of babysitters by text and probably hundreds of other things I don’t even realize/realise yet.
My favorite/favourite of course is movie tickets by text. You just show the cinema staff your phone for entry.
Our little local cinema got a refurbishment (is this an English-y word?) recently and we decided to see Sherlock Holmes there. So fitting as the theater is on Baker Street, the famed fictional home of Mr. Holmes. They took advantage of that fact as you can see. Does this look like a typical movie theater? Gosh bless Marylebone.