I have been waiting for it for a while. We get the bus home from school and nursery a few times a week and a couple have raised the kids interest. Two high school students part company at the Bus Station and they fondly kiss each other goodbye. The question was finally asked at the weekend "mummy, is that a boy or a girl?" I chose to avoid the question. The couple are both girls. I will probably have the conversation soon. I think that these girls are very brave. Hungary is years behind even the UK in such matters. The last government was going to introduce civil partnership for same sex couples, alas not something the present incumbents would touch with a barge pole.
When the military gave my husband the assignment to the UK, I was absolutely thrilled. It was a chance to change our life and live outside our comfort zones, experience another culture and give our kids the experience of living abroad on the governments dime. Unfortunately I didn't realize there isn't a manual for moving oversea provided by the government. Basically, they buy the airline tickets, take care of your visas and passports, provide you lodging until you can sort out your housing situation, tell you some interesting places to visit and send you on your way. Helpful, but it all leaves you with your head spinning, feeling like you have landed on an alien planet with no sense of direction.
I've been living in the UK on and off since 1990. I have a British passport. My children were born here. I can make a roast that can compete with the best of them.
Why the heck can't I steer a British shopping trolley?
I am resigned to the fact that "things are harder here". When I first opened a bank account, I went to the branch where I lived. Bad move. On a lunch break one day, when I needed to withdraw more money than allowed by the ATM, I had to travel 40 minutes from my work place in order to complete the transaction. The systems were not "connected".
A friend told me last week that she thought the rite of passage must be having your little one have a temper tantrum while walking down Oxford Street and having everyone stare at you in disdain.
Another friend said that the rite of passage is the inaugural supermarket tantrum. Did you see The Exorcist, she asks me. She goes on to describe a scene where her little cherub starts throwing apples, oranges and lemons at passers-by while screaming at the top of her lungs. Said cherub then runs away to what my friend describes as “a section of glass things” and gives her a look that says if her mum comes anywhere near her, she’ll pick up a piece of glass and throw it. She then runs to another aisle, throws herself on the floor and starts flailing her arms as if she’s doing some sort of 360-degree snow angels interpretive dance. My friend said it wasn’t the cherub’s head that was spinning around in the manner of one Linda Blair, but rather her own.
Yes that is what it took 12 hours in a plane from London to Cayman Islands and my life changed completely.
Sometimes we think big decisions in life take time to take and you need to think and think pros and cons, evaluate, re-evaluate and then when you are 100% sure you make the move. Well actually that is not my case and if i start thinking back to the time i started to make my own decisions and carving my own path i have never taken long to make a crucial decision. Probably because if i would have evaluated and re-evaluated i would have never jumped in the pool. So this time again i jumped hoping for the best.
Left work on September 11th 2009 and arrived in Cayman on September 18th. Let’s face it the first week very little was going through my mind in terms of the future, it was all about getting to know the new environment more like a holidays let’s say… My husband had not started his job yet so the four of us plus the bump were just having a great time by the beach.
Signs we have been in Bosnia for a loooong time and there may be some readjustment required before entry back into the UK:
1. When the traffic lights go green, my first instinct is now to hoot the horn, then to put the car in gear.
2. Pedestrians, what are they? (in my defence, if you take the definition of safe driving to be driving in a way that people expect you to, then stopping to let pedestrians cross the road does constitute dangerous driving as people will go into the back of you).
3. When I look out of the window and see some metal poles in the garden opposite, my first thought isn't ooo, look, football goalposts, it is oooo, look, a place to bash carpets.
I first came to the UK in 1990 for a study abroad programme in Bath. I was a journalism student and had never been outside the US except for a trip to Niagara Falls when I was a kid and the obligatory Tijuana bar hopping over the border in college. I thought living in the UK would be an adventure.
I was placed with a family with two girls; an 18-month-old named Marie and a four-year-old named Emma.
Immediately I was fascinated with the language differences. I was quickly comparing the American version of British words with Emma – jumpers are sweaters, trousers are pants, pants are knickers. Hee hee hee, isn't this fun.