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girl with retro suitcase on railway

Being an expat

Two months ago, with five bags, two Americans and a lizard moved to Bristol. My husband and I picked up our lives and our pet to move to a place that we hadn’t heard of until a few months before. This was the hardest thing we had ever done. I know people say that a lot and normally something comes along that’s more difficult, but so far moving across the Atlantic was the most difficult experience of my life.

However, after two months living here, we finally feel settled. We live in a nice little one bedroom flat on the second floor in a good part of town. It’s everything one could wish for their first residence in a new city. That being said, there have been some aspects of living here that we didn’t expect…

1. Walking on one side of the pavement doesn’t seem to exist here. Everyone likes to walk down the middle.

2. Parking. We live on a little side street across from a primary school and everyone seems to park wherever they please. Aren’t there rules about that sort of thing?

3. Variety. There is little of it. I suppose in the U.S. we’re used to an excess of brands, but I like to have choices when I go into the grocery store.

4. Salt. There is so much of it. In everything. And don’t even get me started on sugar content.

5. Bank security. I have never had so many passwords, pin numbers and security questions for one account. It’s infuriating and comforting at the same time.

I guess I sound like I’m complaining a lot, when in fact I love it here. The weather is mild and there’s a great deal of of public transportation that’s pretty efficient. However, the number one thing I like most about the UK is the absence of guns. It’s the most obvious and positive difference between the U.S. and the UK.  I didn’t think I notice it as much as I do, but the news is definitely less depressing here.


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