Stupid Shit People Say #1

I think this might be a fun little side blog called: Stupid Shit People Say

Ugh. This is really getting to me these days! When ever I am being introduced to somebody here in the USA the conversation goes like this:

My relative/friend: “Oh, hi Sally, have you met Leah? She’s from *England*”.
Me: “Nice to meet you, but, I’m actually from the Yoop. I just live in England.”
Sally: “I didn’t hear an accent, how long have you been there? Do you love London?”
Me: “Well I am American, so no English accent for me. And I don’t live in London.”
Sally: “London/England same thing. I just love BBC America. Doctor Who/Downton Abby/Graham Norton is the best!”

I am not English!!!! And I will never, ever, ever, speak in an English accent on cue for travel hungry strangers.

Summer!

Well, it’s been 5 months of not writing. The Spring brought a feeling of excitement and stagnation in my life. Total bliss as my USA summer tickets were booked and I was going for the longest I’ve ever been out of England since moving there (9 1/2 weeks!). But spring also brought the dreaded anniversary of my move to England. 10 YEARS! TEN effing YEARS! It is frightening. How have my twenties passed so quickly and how have I grown such deep roots into a land that I am so indifferent about? Ugh.

Never mind. I cannot dwell on that. It’s summer!! I am so happy to be in the Yoop. (You know, *that other* part of Michigan. Not the mitten.) Since that darn polar vortex hit the UP so bad Lake Superior had ice chunks until June. Yikes! So the summer temperature has been chilly. There have not been many beach days or the dreaded camping that my children, parents and rest of the family love so much. Never the less I am happy just to be here with my parents and my 83 year old grandmother.

My dad keeps saying, I can’t believe summer is half over and you’re leaving in 4 weeks! Please dad, don’t wish away my summer. It’s going too fast on its own!

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Happy Independence Day! ūüáļūüáł

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Yearly Snowfall Record

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1st Place Women’s 2k

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4th Place Under 10 2k
(8th Place Men’s over all)

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Quincy Mine Tour

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Swimming in Lake Michigan

Valentines Day

I don’t think the question of Valentines Day being an overly commercial “holiday” needs to debated. It’s true, it’s a Hallmark Holiday.

The cultural differences regarding Valentines Day for children in the UK and America are huge. Where I grew up and went to school (and I dare say 99% of other US schools) Valentines Day is a big celebration. We started our party at 1:30 and it lasted until the end of the school day. We made card boxes decorated in construction paper, hearts, and glitter. We passed out cards stuffed with chocolates and conversation hearts. We had a feast of cupcakes, rice Krispy treats, chocolate, and red kool-aid. Cards were made for our parents, grandparents, as well as paper flower bouquets. It was a special day, it reminded us that we were loved by our classmates, teachers, friends, and parents. It was a fun and exciting day and it helped break up the monotony of the white winter months.

In the UK, Valentines Day is for lovers, not children. Not much is done at school, I received a nice card (to mommy and daddy) from my 6 year old. My 8 year old found a card template on the internet, printed it, wrote it out, but didn’t get time to color it. My 4 year old said, “It’s Happy Bal-in-times Day!! I love you!” (insert kiss and hug). So the school made them aware of this day but didn’t buy into it. I sent cards and candybars for all the kids classes, 2 out of 3 passed them out. The one who forgot said sorry. Great.

Maybe it’s the American in me but I’d rather make a big fuss for the kids and forget about the lover part. (Well, maybe not forget him, but he knows he is loved.) In the times we live there is such a problem with bullying and parents being so busy, it’s important for the children to know that someone is thinking of them and loves them.

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Wouldn’t it be nice for 8 year olds to tell each other that they are awesome friends?

My mom, grandma, and aunt all sent packages full of cards and candy for the kids, so at least Valentines Day is alive in this American house.

Do you buy into Valentines Day? For your children, nieces, nephews, friends kids, your self, or partner?

Having enough of England

This week has been irritating.¬† England is wearing thin on me.¬† I’ve been here too long.¬† I have not adjusted to the culture here and honestly, I don’t want to.¬†

Four things this week have tipped me over the edge:

1.¬† “Do your kids look half-cast?”¬†

First of all OMG! Who says that? My children are not ‘half-cast’ and we are NOT living in 1945, it is NOT ok to say that to someone.¬† My beautiful children are half Asian¬†Indian, half¬†White¬†American.¬† They have a beautiful olive skin, amazing brown eyes, and the most luscious medium brown locks a child could have.¬† My children will forever be more beautiful that you, you horrible woman with bleach blond hair and pasty white – too much fake tan skin.¬† I forever hate you and your parents who taught you that is ok to speak so rudely and think so backwards.¬†

 

2.¬† “You have to accept the fact that your kids are British.”

Um, no, I don’t.¬† As an aquantince of mine you cannot dictate my children’s nationality, which is American.¬† We are living in Britian, we are NOT British.¬† We will not live here forever.¬† Considering the fact that¬†all of our close friends here are not from here and the majority of them are either American or¬†Cananadian they¬†are growing up with a North American culture and not a British one.

 

3.¬† “We’ll get those children speaking properly.”¬†

Again, WE ARE NOT BRITISH, therefore, we will not speak British English, or say things like vit-a-min.¬†¬†Its vite-a-min.¬† We don’t add¬†the letter U where it¬†does not belong.¬† My name is MOMMY not MUMMY and if you ask my 5 year old to¬†write¬†that in a card he won’t.¬† We throw things in the garbage not the bin, and for¬†Gods sake toffee is only ONE kind of food!

 

4.¬† Apparently the MET office changed the first day of Spring to¬†March 1 in 2006.¬† WHY?!?! Because its ‘easier to remember’.¬†

That¬†is so stupid¬†I just have no comment with out swearing, I’ll leave you to ponder that.

 

We are still waiting on the interview date for the job in Riyadh, its supposed to be in April sometime.¬†¬†The sooner the better, I need a change.¬† There have been emails from other recruiters regarding jobs in the UAE, which is my first¬†choice but I’m not hopeful for any of those¬†right now.¬†¬†

 

Trying to keep my spirits up this week and try not to speak to any idiots as well.   

Looking for a new adventure

As an American living in the United Kingdom, I have never felt at home here. I have been living in England for almost 9 years.

Milestones have come and gone in my time here and as each one passes I tell myself, I am settled here, this is my home. But, it is not. And it never has.

In nine years I have:
-turned 21
-got married
-had Sophia
-bought a house
-graduated from university
-bought another house
-had Zack
-turned 25
-got my UK driving licence
-had Zain
-kids started school
-bought another house
-and God knows what else

and the entire time I have struggled to find my place here. The longer I stay the more I realize two things:
1. England will never be my home.
2. I’m not sure I can readjust to American life.

So where does that leave me? Looking. Looking for something new, somewhere else.

My husband and I always talk about moving. We have explored the idea of Australia, and when the job offer came, we turned it down. Lets wait a few years. We looked into Sweden, but taxes were quite high. The USA is always on the table but my Husband doesn’t want to retrain for the same job he has done for 15 years. (Boo!) Canada! Yes! Lets go to Canada! It’s like America but better! Hubs thinks its too cold. (Are you kidding me!) UAE, what could be better? The best of Islam, halal McDonalds, and great shopping to boot. Yes, we’ve found our new home. Job offer was excellent, we were ready. But in the end it wasn’t meant to be. I was sad. I knew I had to stay longer in England.

Now in February 2013, I am presented with another idea. Saudi Arabia. Hmm. How do I feel about this? This isn’t just a Muslim country, this is the Muslim country! While I do want my kids growing up with a strong Islamic foundation would this be too much? What about me? Can a white girl from Michigan cope in Saudi Arabia?! Well, I think I can but only God knows for sure.

It’s all just speculation right now but agencies have been contacted and jobs applied for. It’s a matter of time to find out whether or not my husband has what they want or not.

In the mean time I’ve been reading what I can on life for women, schools, hospital life, etc. As far as I can tell my life there would be very similar to what is here. Me being at home full time looking after the family and house. Spending my days at the gym or salon it with girlfriends. Can’t beat that, right? I wouldn’t mind a maid or a driver and take the whole lady of leisure to a new level. Might be nice.

I know how my parents would feel about all of this and all of their concerns are justified and right. But life is an adventure only to be lived once. Gone are the days of living in closed communities because travel was expensive, or difficult, or just not something that was done. Where the farthest you went was Green Bay or Chicago at a stretch.

I need to see the world. God has given me the opportunity to travel and I will take it. I want to debunk any myths about Islam and its culture. Fox News and the likes spin it so its something scary and mysterious. It’s none of those things, 25% of the worlds population is Muslim. 1 in 4 people. That is amazing. Subhanallah.

So lets see what the future holds for Saudi and my family. Inshallah, it’s good for us.