America doesn’t want me to have a phone

When I moved to America, I decided that – to begin with – I would just use my corporate phone for everything. It seemed simpler and one less thing to have to buy and setup, plus it would let me wait for Apple’s announcements and see what those brought.

In November, I decided it was time to get myself a phone and split my personal stuff out from the company device, which always left me feeling a little uncertain.

You would think that, after having secured a bank account, a social security number, a place to live, and a house full of furniture that acquiring a phone would be easy.

You would be mistaken.

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You say tomato …

You say ‘toe-may-toe’, and I say ‘toe-mah-toe’. You say ‘Poe-tay-toe’, and I say ‘poe-tah-to’.

‘Trousers’ are Pants’. Holidays are ‘Vacations’. Pavements are ‘Sidewalks’. Flats are ‘Apartments’. ‘Fucking awful drivers’ are ‘Drivers’.

And, apparently, ‘On Time’ is ‘Five minutes late’.

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Signs of Reggie

I recently talked about the process I went through to pack up all my gubbins and travel with, or ship it to the USA. I made a conscious decision that I would move with just what I needed to live; clothes, my laptops (for work of course), things to wash and clean myself, and … that was about it. Everything else would be shipped in boxes over the course of a few months or, if I hadn’t owned it in the first place, simply bought outright.

Once we’d found a place, the question of cleaning it quickly came up, particularly with wood floors throughout (dust magnet) as well as a long-haired canine in residence. A vacuum cleaner was needed, and fast, but my shiny-almost-new Dyson was in a box awaiting a boat to bring it across the ocean.

Faced with the prospect of buying another one to achieve our immediate needs and then having a duplicate a few months down the line, I decided to go a different route.

Enter, Reggie.

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The Big Adventure

It’s not what I thought it was …

When I began this journey, it seemed like one of those things that was so far off that it might never even happen. There were so many layers of approval to be signed off, stacks of paperwork to be completed, and plans to be made that it was easy to think of ‘relocating my entire life to New York City’ as some abstract idea. This concept held even as the day of departure grew ever closer. Somehow, it was ‘just something I was doing’ rather than a seismic shift in the wonky tectonic plates of my life.

Finally, after nine months of waiting, wondering, speculation and admiration from others for this huge change I was undertaking, the day came and away I flew. Almost three months later – nearly a year to the day I asked about the concept of moving to America – my friends and family back home have asked with excitement-tinged voices “So, how is it living in New York??”

My answer is always a resounding “….eh.” It’s only when chatting to my parents last weekend that I realized why. The Big Adventure was never ‘moving to New York’, and it’s taken me a while to realize that.

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No Cheese, Please.

Why is it so hard to understand?

Anyone that has known me for longer than a few minutes and has had a meal with me – or discussed food – will know that I don’t like cheese. It smells and tastes like feet and is a great way to ruin food.

There are a few exceptions to the rule – basically if it’s very mild and / or doesn’t taste of cheese, then it’s fine. Mozzarella on pizza is a perfect example. Even then, if there’s too much of it, I don’t like it.

You would think that this would be a major problem for me if I had relocated to France. Now, we all know that Americans like their cheese but they are also the Czars of Customer Care (written alliteration counts). In a world where you can order a meal at a restaurant, painstakingly swap out every component for something else, and still have your order taken with a smile (as opposed to the punch in the face such an act truly deserves), you would think that getting a meal without cheese on it would be simple, right?

Wrong.

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The Great British Catch-Up: Part 3

It’s sofas all the way down

It’s funny; when you start with an empty apartment, the idea of filling the space with everything you’ll need seems daunting. Things start to seem achievable once you’ve bought your first few thousand dollars worth of furniture and spent what feels like a lifetime building it all.

It’s only once the cardboard mountain is spirited away, the dust is swept up, and your clothes are finally put away, that you realize you were right.

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The Great British Catch-Up: Part 2

IKEA IKEA IKEA IKEA IKEA IKEA IKEA IKAE IKEAIAEKIAEKIEKAIEKAIEK

So we’ve got an apartment. I’ve got a fuckton (imperial measurements over here) of luggage. What to do next?

Shop. Shop in IKEA. Shop in IKEA until you only see in blue and yellow, and refer to everything in broken Swedish phrases.

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