I really don’t know how to measure adjustment to a new place. The cultural training we took before we moved here gave us a cycle to go by, but it really seemed more like a grief cycle than adjustment. I think you have moments when you realize that you are adjusting. One thing that I like to look at is what we bring back to London with us from Texas. I went for a quick visit about a month after we moved. It was for a wedding which means that the trip was fast and crazy and yet I managed to bring back an entire suitcase full of things that I thought we DESPERATELY needed. I didn’t think that we could live without them. Each time I go home there is less and less that I feel I must bring back and less and less I feel like asking for people to bring us when they come visit. I love when our parents come visit and bring us lots of goodies from home but that has become a treat rather than a necessity. We have adapted and learned how to cook things that we used to buy and learned that even though the packaging looks different some things over here make a pretty good substitute for things from home. There are also things that we just don’t make over here. I attempted to make banana pudding with some British biscuits (cookies) and it just wasn’t right, apparently Nilla Wafers are crucial to the success of said pudding. But I think we are ok living a banana pudding-less life for a few years. I was pondering the things that I want to bring back when we go for our visit in less than two weeks (!) and realized that my list was shorter than ever. I bought a bunch of things on my trip home over the summer that I ended up leaving in Corsicana because they weighed down my already to heavy bags and I never even missed them. I was feeling very proud of myself for my short list of goodies to bring back and then I went out with my friend Lindsey for lunch and now I have something new to add that I have never even bought before. I have to say though: she’s a genius.
The stereotype of Brits drinking all the time is not very far off at all. But I think I have pinpointed a reason: there is nothing else to drink. If you go to a restaurant you may either get a drink (wine or beer), pay several pounds for a tiny bottle of coke that does not get refills or drink tap water. Really, beer just makes more sense. England needs iced tea. Liver failure would drop tremendously if they would just serve big glasses of iced tea at restaurants. I have found one place that serves it but they don’t have Sweet-n-low and everyone knows that sugar doesn’t dissolve in cold tea! So when Lindsey and I were having lunch with some other women from the AWC on Tuesday, we all ordered tap water and Lindsey whips out her bag and starts passing these bad boys around and low and behold my life has changed:
I will be buying several boxes of these beautiful little things and carting them back to London with me. I will also become someone I make fun of- the woman who carries sweet-n-low in her purse. Don’t even care a little bit. Make fun all you want because I’ll be drinking iced tea in England!
See you in two weeks!!!