My life changed in December 2007 when, thinking that I should try the ‘Love’ thing again, I joined a dating site on the Internet (largefriends.com – yes, I’m a big(ish) girl and thought that at least that would be one expectation out of the way). In January 2008 (the 12th to be exact), James McKee from Michigan USA contacted me and, after several visits backs and forth, HUNDREDS of hours IM’ing, Yahooing, emailing and talking on the phone, not to mention the enormous amount of $$$’s and £££’s spent obtaining a visa, I finally said Goodbye to Old Blighty on June 10th 2010 and set off on my intrepid new life adventure in Michigan, USA. We were married 16 days later and are very happy. We now own a beautiful home in Ypsilanti, MI having spent the first year in Jim’s apartment in Belleville deciding where we would like to live. I have a wonderful job now and am making some good friends while keeping in touch with my old friends back in the UK.
However, for some unknown reason, the last couple of weeks, I have been really homesick. I miss the wonderful bunch of people I know in Fort William. The small town on the West Coast of Scotland where I lived for the previous twenty years.
Fort William pedestrian High Street
Myrtlebank Guest House
Although I love where I am, and have no desire to move – I just miss what I still think of as home. There are many many similarities between the UK and the USA but there are also many many differences. It’s like we’re not only divided by a common language but lots of little things and it’s the little things that I miss. For the most part life is pretty similar…….but the multitude of tiny little differences is what I am now craving; a High Street to walk along, shopping without having to drive your car to the next store because it’s too far to walk, calling up my pals and saying do you fancy going for lunch (here, they live too far away for impromptu lunches or coffees), going for a walk in the beautiful Lochaber Countryside, going to the Pub, fish and chips, haggis neeps and tatties, driving on the left side of the road, real English butter, proper sausages, Nescafe Gold, looking out of my window and seeing mountains everywhere, the Scottish accent (though funnily enough, I’m English), seeing one Doctor for everything instead of having to go and see different ones, the pottery painting cafe, the Lochs, somewhere I don’t have to explain anything I say ie; saying trousers not pants, Mum not Mommy, tights not pantyhose, knickers not panties, pudding meaning anything from Steamed pudding and custard to apple pie and ice-cream not just something similar to Angel Delight or Instant Whip, biscuit not cookies, scones not biscuits, bacon not Canadian bacon or ham (and not smoked), shops not stores, Hoover not vacuum, chemist not pharmacy, paracetamol not acetaminophen, plasters not Bandaids, spag bog not spaghetti and so on and so on….not forgetting the fact that sooooo many words are spelt differently, it seems that Americans can’t use the ‘ou’ or ‘ae’ pairings…….
Of course, I love the fact that I can pretty much shop any time of the day or night (if needed). Particularly useful when you get sick, as most if not all of the pharmacies and several grocery storesare open 24 hours, 365 days a year. I love that you hardly need to reserve dinner out even at Christmas, though Thanksgiving is a problem as it’s about the only time places DO close early. Oh, and when you DO eat out, it is not frowned on if you want to take your leftovers home and most restaurants (even posh ones) do a takeout service.
Maybe, it’s just that I’ve been here long enough to start forgetting what it’s like back home and the brain is subconsciusly rebooting the Home programme….don’t know. Just as well, we get free calls back home with our Vonage……