Thursday, 4 October 2012

"She's Cheer Captain and I'm on the Bleachers"

I am no longer ashamed to be a Taylor Swift fan as Country Music seems to be all the radio stations play...being Texas and all. As of yesterday, I've been in the US for over a week, and it's already gone so quickly. I've settled into Texan life and have finally got over the jet lag and the dreaded 4am hill. Family life is brilliant and the four boys have kept me on my toes but I wouldn't have it any other way. If it's reading with the youngest or showing the boys photos of London - it's great to spend time with and get to know my American counterparts and the way life over here works.

I've got into the apres-school routine of helping with the boys, and at the start of the week I investigated the local Library with the help of two of the boys which, as it turned out, was a brilliant surprise. I was scanning the notice boards of the local area when I noticed that Jonathan Safran Foer (any of you who know me will know how much I raved about his 'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close' at the start of the year) is doing a signing on 27th October and I had to stop myself jumping up and down, I love him. Furthermore, on speaking to the Librarian about the event (re: tickets and such), she came and found me amongst the Dewey Decimal System (I have no idea how it works) and said they'd love to have me join their book group, where on Tuesday next week they will be discussing said book; perfect.

After this excitement, Tuesday and Wednesday were days spent relaxing and helping Meg with errands and taking books out of the Library (Hemingway's 'The Garden of Eden'), and on Tuesday we went to the Middle School American Football game which, when you have no idea what is going on, is incredibly fun and absurdly American.

I guess this was counteracted by an unseasonal rain storm in the first twenty minutes of the game but, being British, I sat out in the rain. Without an umbrella. Telling myself it was okay because we're so used to rain. I still became absolutely soaked through but hey, my English spirit lived through.

The game took place in a local High School so even being in the stadium was a great experience - I finally understand what Taylor Swift is singing about when she talks about 'sitting on the Bleachers' which are a) incredibly American and b) incredibly uncomfortable. After the game and a quick dinner, I headed, with the boys, to a Neighbourhood party and mingled with some of my now neighbours. The inevitable, "oh you're Meg's niece!" (cousin),"you're over from Wales!" (England) and my all time favourite, "oh you have wonderful teeth! English people have awful teeth" closely followed by, "do you know the Queen? Oh, do you own a Bowler hat?". Everyone gave me a lovely Houston welcome into our Wysteria-Lane-esque suburbia.

Looking awkward, English, and possibly a little confused on the stands.

On Wednesday, I visited some local shops and went for lunch with Meg. We went to a local food store named the, “Moveable Feast” (after Hemingway’s Parisian classic) and was rather quaint. Part of having a big family is grocery shopping, and we went to my first proper grocery store (although, having already been to a Whole Foods store and the infamous Walmart this would technically been the third time) and I squealed when we reached the 'British' food section! Twinings and Rich Tea Biscuits galore!! It's the little things that remind me of home that make being in a different culture even more exciting, but across the pond who knew these little things could cost $3.00 for a packet of imported biscuits?! I know, I know, it's exceedingly British to complain but still.

The, "where are you from?" question at the check-outs is still brilliant, though I've found my hair is a focal point? I've been grocery shopping 3 times, and have been asked to/complimented on my hair 3 times. Definitely a correlation (perhaps). Wednesday evening was a political highlight, as I'm sure many of you will have watched Obama vs. Romney in the first of 3 presidential debates. Being in a Republican state, the opinions are great to listen to as I know little of Obamacare and/or the actual state of the American Economy. Obama didn't seem to do so well, though happy 20th Anniversary Mr. President, but it was an experience to watch, especially after seeing our own 2010 General Election debates in the UK and being able to compare the two.

The "Moveable Feast" interior.

England in a grocery store! Wine Gums! Fox Creams! Tea! Digestives!
Obama vs. Romney - round one.

I've settled in completely this week, and after emailing and writing home and finishing Caitlin Moran's 'Moranthology' I feel like this really is my home, and will remain my second home for years to come. The welcome cannot be paralleled to that which I have received elsewhere, I feel like this is even more my family now than I could have hoped.

PS, I found a Wills and Kate mug AND a website to watch Doctor Who and Great British Bake Off - horray!

No comments:

Post a Comment