You go to the British section of the local supermarket for some comfort food and they don't sell Ribena. What's that about? Did the USA ban blackcurrants or something? (Actually, they really did, once upon a time.)
You order something in a restaurant and the staff don't understand what you said, even though you technically speak the same language. You get bored of repeating yourself all the time and ask your husband to order instead. Your husband starts to think you have an irrational fear of saying "fries and a side salad" in public.
You're no longer a superstar parallel parker. Everything's backwards and you have to re-learn.
Then you crash your mother-in-law's car.
You're worried about getting sick, not because you don't have health insurance, but because you've just discovered that you can't buy Lemsip in the USA. Where do Americans get their soothing citrus flu placebo effects?
You learn that 3 out of 5 jobs listed on Craigslist probably don't exist, 1 out of 5 seems dodgy and is likely related to porn, and 1 out of 5 isn't a job but an 'unpaid internship' with the potential for a good reference. That's not even including the 'unpaid internship in burrito warfare' you didn't apply for because it involved dressing up as a giant taco and throwing food at people in the street (I'm not joking about this).
And then you think, or worse, you say out loud: I want to go home.
That's the worst thing an expat can say.
And it's almost always followed by: Oh shit. I AM home.
|To be fair, my section of the supermarket ain't too bad, but five bucks for a small bottle of Robinson's? Please… If the culture shock wasn't bad enough.|