Expat Life, Food & Drink, Psychology & Musings, Psychology & Wellbeing, Travel & Outings

Stateside Alien

This morning I feel shellshocked. Don’t panic, it’s nothing serious, I’m just a Stateside alien struggling to adapt to life across the pond.


My day started with a barrage of phone calls I needed to make to cancel forgotten direct debits and payments coming out of my UK bank account. When leaving one country for another, admin gets complicated. Incidentally, I’m terrible at managing the administrative parts of my life, so this was not a happy start to my day. Before we’d even dropped my husband to work, I already felt highly strung. Then it was my turn to drive again.

My plans today were to find an ethical beauty salon and visit a home store that an American friend of ours told us would be a must for kitting out our new home. Thankfully the salon I’d chosen online was close to the home store so I felt prepped to get to my destination and kill two birds with one stone.

After some time trying to understand the zip code address finder, I managed to get SatNav to work, keyed in the code and off I went. It took me the ‘quicker’ back roads – why it feels the need to do this is beyond me – which always take twice as long and almost guarantee you’ll get lost. Anyway, after touring the whole of suburban Stamford and Greenwich, I made it to my destination, parked the bus (badly) and headed for the salon.

After walking for a few minutes and reaching the end of the ‘sidewalk’, I realised it was impossible to reach my destination on foot. I trotted back – mumbling under my breath about the infuriating need to constantly use the car – and moved the bus. The salon was a minute’s drive down the road…

Eventually, I made it, stopped for a coffee at nearby Cafe Oo La La – a lovely little spot for refuge – and tried to collect my nerves before heading for my next salon experience. 

After my salon session last week, I was conscious of finding a place that was ethical yet functional, and that didn’t cost the earth. I succeeded in the first two.

There’s something about US sales people that rattles me. Perhaps it’s the speed at which they speak, or maybe it’s the confidence they portray, or it could be they hear an English accent and decide I’m fair game, whichever it is, they know how to get money out of me. Fleeced again, but at least feeling I was paying the wages of staff from a reputable establishment, I returned to my place of refuge.

It’s only lunchtime, and I feel like I’m about to break.

Still on my health kick I opted for a salad for lunch. It didn’t cut it.

I had to buy something heavily chocolate rich.


After two weeks here, and knowing I don’t get to come home for another 10, I’m developing a new found respect for expats.

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