For some reason, approximately 23 minutes ago, it hit me square in the forehead that I’m moving to England. Like moving moving to England. Meaning I will no longer reside in the United States. … Now, you might be thinking “Yes. Duh. That’s what that means, dear.” But for someone who has been excited about this, reading books about this, researching this, and DREAMING for this for weeks, you’d think it would have hit me already. But no… it hit me (approx. 25 minutes ago now) as I sat watching So You Think You Can Dance on my laptop and Nigel said something oh so British. I thought, “Ha, I know what that means…” and then it hit a moment later, as if a mosquito was smacked from my forehead, “I WILL LIVE IN HIS COUNTRY!!!”.
Am I excited?! Heck yes. I can’t think of a more incredible adventure for this stage of my life. I’m ready to explore, and hike, and read, and knit, and sip tea, and read, and learn, and travel, and read, and minister, and meet new people, and travel!
Am I nervous?! Only just. 🙂
I know there will be the initial culture shock, (then the post-initial culture shock), and I know I will have to begin the “Okay, let’s go be social and meet people” phase again. One of my main fears is just being able to converse with locals without sounding like an American idiot. To be honest, it’s probably driven by my reading and trying to be prepared. But there are so many rules and exceptions! And honestly, some of it does not make sense. I’m reading “The Mother Tongue” by Bill Bryson (one of my favorite authors) right now and it points out several of the typical differences.
Another great book I read was “Best of British” by Mike Etherington. (He also has most of it on his website here.) From that book I learned that:
1) The Brits have a lot of slang terms for male anatomy. A LOT.
2) The Brits have a lot of slang terms for “getting busy.” (But, alas, so do Americans).
3) There are things I’m not supposed to say, and things I am supposed to say, but there is a very large chance that I will confuse the two lists and make a fool of myself. Maybe daily.
For example, pants. You might not think that you say the word “pants” all that often… However, once that you read that you shouldn’t say “pants” because it actually means “underwear” in the ever-so-conservative-UK, you realize that you say “pants” way more than you ever thought you did and you develop an irrational fear of suddenly referring to your underwear on accident in the most inappropriate of British locations. But then, of course, I’ll think “Don’t say pants, don’t say pants,” and then the first word from my mouth when greeted with, “Cheers, ya’all right?” will be “PANTS!” (Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating).
But yes, it has hit me. In just a few short weeks I will be in England, navigating my way around new social customs and dialects, breathing it all in… and mumbling to myself about pants.