I do miss my Mum. I really do. I miss all of my family. I can’t dwell on it because if I did, I would be unhappy and really, I don’t have a right to be unhappy when I am living such a nice life!
Life here is good. I am doing things I love, bringing up my boys, training to be a Childbirth Educator, setting up my photography business. I have met some fabulous people, and some not so fabulous people. I have been to some amazing places, visited six states, found beautiful parks, and my home feels like a home (albeit messier than I would like…). I have struggled with cultural differences, and laughed at cultural differences. I’ve experienced Fall and Thanksgiving and American Hallowe’en. I’ve discovered that there are hundreds of reasons to celebrate with candy during the school year. I’m figuring out the supermarkets and CSAs and farmers markets. I’m running - a lot! I passed my driving test. I had an American baby! I discovered groups like Frederick Mommies, Mombook, API of Frederick, La Leche League of Frederick, and I joined them all! You could never accuse me of being cliquey :)
The first three months were the loneliest I have ever had. I didn’t know how it ‘worked’ out here. I thought I would never make any friends or be able to have a normal conversation with anyone. I was sad. Then it all started coming together…
So, one year on. I feel lucky. Lucky to have a husband who supports me in all the crazy things I’ve decided to take on; who doesn’t complain when I spend all day looking after children and all night working on photos or coursework. I am lucky to have made some good friends who have seen me laugh and seen me cry. I wish I could move my home nearer to my family. Better still, I wish I could move my family nearer to me!
Spurred on by a Facebook conversation, I decided to start making a list of all the language differences I’ve come across this year. Bear with me, I’m sure I’m missing hundreds of others, but these are the ones that stick in my head!
(In no particular order)
Garden = Yard
Vegetable patch = garden
Boot = trunk
Bonnet = hood
Rubber = eraser
Condom = rubber
Rubber = eraser
Condom = rubber
Pram = carriage
Buggy = stroller
Pushchair = stroller
Travel cot = pack n play
Activity centre = Excersaucer
Nappies = diapers
Aubergine = eggplant
Coriander = cilantro
Courgette = green squash / zucchini
BBQ = grill
Clothes pegs = clothes pins
Post = mail (people think I’m talking about the Washington Post newspaper if I mention post)
Football = soccer
American football = football (who’d have known!)
Cordial = doesn’t exist!
Zed = zee
Bottom = tush
Bum = butt
Biscuit = Cookie
Dumpling-type thing = biscuit, as in “chicken and biscuit”. I haven’t had it…
The completely different pronunciation of certain herbs, with herb itself being ‘erb:
oregano = o-ray-ganno
basil = bay-zle
quinoa = key-noir (had a very puzzled look from a shop assistant when I asked for ki-noah…)
Zebra = zee-bra
Nauseous = Naw-shus
Awesome ONLY sounds cool with an American accent. Fact.
When we first arrived I mentioned to David that there were a LOT of deaf people here. There really are! It took me ten months to realise that the Maryland School for the Deaf is in Frederick… so not just some kind of Martha’s Vineyard then…
Go to the shops / dentist / haircut etc = ‘running errands’
The addition of ‘of’ to a sentence: “take that off of there” “you get off of route 70”
The Lube Center. No matter how many times I drive past it, I still snigger to myself like an adolescent schoolboy. It just sounds so rude. It’s a car shop!
What is the thing with milk? In the UK you have whole milk, semi-skimmed milk and skimmed milk. Here you have whole milk, 2% milk, 1% milk, some places have skimmed milk, raw milk (illegal in MD). Which one is the same as UK skimmed milk? Probably none of them, I’ve not worked it out yet…