Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Everything is a Learning Process...

Ok, so we've been here a few days and the kids kept saying they weren't tired...no jet lag for us Mom...blah, blah, right?  Well, I couldn't resist taking this picture because let's just say that it's been a LONG while since they've slept in the car...all at the same time.  And...we didn't travel more than 10 minutes down the road.  Ha ha, it catches up with you! 

So, when friends heard about our upcoming move to London, we often heard the same sort of phrase...similiar to..."at least you're moving to a place where people speak English..."   And this was true... EXCEPT that everything else is different and would have to be learned.  So often, we hear slang, change in dialect , or just different vocabulary than we recognize.  They may say the "pitch" and mean field or say "quid" to indicate a buck or dollar. So...now I refer back to the title, "Everything is a Learning Process" and will share our daily challenges.  Kate keeps a running vocabulary list...I'll share it at another time.  I love to see her adding new terms. :)

Well, of course, there are obvious changes like the cooler temperatures and time...we are five hours ahead of east coast time.  And most clocks are digital on the 24 hour clock.  Nick will struggle, no doubt. 
The money is pence and pounds...pounds are paper money and the least value is five.  If  it's less than five pounds, you'll receive a coins, indicatating one pound each.  So you don't throw your change around here... as it can add up quick!  My "laundry making saving jar" is becoming MUCH more valuable here in London, rather than the US.  :)  

Now a change in cooking...truly a challenge due to measurement and oven temperatures...I knew the metric system would snag me.  We made pancakes the other day and the mix called for 390 grams of mix with 525 ml of water..."What I say?!..."  Let's just say we didn't have computer access to cheat and the pancakes took a l-o-n-g time to make.  The moral here...kids, pay attention in math when learning about the metric system.  I had the chance to really impress my kids and I blew it.   One never knows when you may need to convert!  The stove and ovens have metric readings as well...gas markers too.  Isn't 350 degrees standard for anything?!  Apparently not.:)  We're doing better now that we can get online for special guidence.  Did I also mention brands are not the same?....remember, we've got to buy laundry soap, dishwashing detergent, cookies, crackers, etc...basically starting fresh and all over.  Again, we're learning as we go...one step at a time.  Oh, and these everyday products are not available in "family size", so yes, we walk to the market daily.  Bread, fruits, vegetables, and flowers seem to be the best and so fresh...I've actually found feathers in the egg cartons and dirt in the lettuce. No joke.  There are not many, if any perservatives in the foods here, so you can imagine their "snacks" are not quite like the States.  And yes, the kids are surviving after all.  If you really search,  American favorites can be found...at a price.  Example:  Lucky Charms are $10. :)

The biggest challenge?  Driving for sure.  Not only is the steering wheel on the right side, but the cars drive on the opposite side that Americans do.  Their roundabouts also travel what seems to be in the wrong direction.  Kyle's had a bit more time and is now pretty comfortable driving.  I take the car out on off times and have to really concentrate...no kids talking and no radio.  I compare it to bumper cars, you hit a curb and you're right back on the narrow road.  I now envy Mini Coopers.  The roads demands my full attention, along with my navigation...or.... it won't turn out well.  Hopefully practice will make me perfect...or close to.:)

Our American tv shows are delayed by one day...we were watching the Homerun Derby the other day and I caught Kyle searching online to see who won and then wagered Jack to a bet.  Caught in the act...!

Anyway...just wanted to share the differences and let you know we're learning new things everyday and adjusting pretty well to our UK transition.  We have guests coming in soon and a we leave for Positano, Italy on Sunday.  Quite amazing...really can't even grasp it yet.  I have a feeling the summer will zip on by...

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