The biggest thing I hate about being an expat in America is....

(63 Posts)
DeliveredByKiki Mon 23-May-16 22:02:51

My panic attacks incurred by police helicopters circling the vicinity of my DC school. We live in a metropolitan area in a liberal state but the fact that it even crossed my mind there could be Someone with a gun in my child's school is horrible.

The gun laws are ultimately what will make me move home before they hit middle school

Laptopwieldingharpy Tue 24-May-16 02:08:42

The mere thought is petrifying....
Mine will most likely want to study in the US... I'm already worried sick at the absolute randomness of those events.
Don't know what to say....

FlorisApple Tue 24-May-16 02:11:26

Yes, terrifying. I really feel for you. I loved living in America, but if I did now, with kids, I would always worry.

DeliveredByKiki Tue 24-May-16 02:26:46

Wasn't even anything to do with the school I the end. But they've had two threats already this year. It sucks even having to consider it

MyFriendsCallMeOh Tue 24-May-16 02:34:46

Same here, although after 3 years in Texas I've never seen anyone bar law enforcement carry a weapon so I don't think about it regularly.

I equally hate the blind acceptance of whatever the US government tells the people (see climate change, nutritional advice....), police brutality, the biased legal system, sky-high levels of child poverty, lack of abortion / gay rights, healthcare (all aspects and in general) .... I could go on.

RosieMapleLeaf Tue 24-May-16 02:48:52

I am in Canada so not quite the same but on Friday mid day I received a text from my oldest daughter - "we just had a real code red". Code red is a lockdown; they do lots of code red drills but this was the real deal, they had been in an assembly in the gym, code red announced, nobody knew what to do because they always to the drills in their classrooms! Everyone into the corner out of sight for 20 minutes, sit still, no talking, etc. I asked if she was ok and the next text was "yes, I don't think there was a gun". She is 12 FFS! She should not have to even know that things like that happen!

Canyouforgiveher Tue 24-May-16 03:29:56

There were bomb threats in multiple schools in the UK today.

I grew up in Ireland and we were regularly evacuated from school because of bomb threats.

The biggest thing I hate about living in the US as an expat is that I can't get decent fish and chips, and I really really miss the Irish sense of humour.

I don't want to dismiss your fears and I hate the american gun culture but in 20 plus years here I have never seen a gun except in the holster of a police officer, my chidren who are now late teens have never seen a gun, have never experienced any violence and feel perfectly safe. We live in a major city and regularly forget to lock our doors at night.

the school code things is a bit like the nuclear hide under the desk drills back in the day. It doesn't mean it will happen.

Want2bSupermum Tue 24-May-16 03:43:45

I hate the driving here. We have over $2 million in term life insurance because there is a real risk that either/both DH and I could be killed driving to/from work. I've never seen so many nasty accidents. It's about 1-2 per month where at least one person in the accident has died or been seriously injured. We are in north jersey.

I'm not worried about gun crime now that we have moved. DH was held up on his way to the airport one morning. After we moved our old neighbor was held up at 7pm in his own driveway. The incarceration rates are stupidly high for first offenses but they caught those guys and they had a long list of convictions and had been in and out of jail dozens of times. Quite frankly they should have been left in jail a whole lot longer.

Want2bSupermum Tue 24-May-16 03:45:00

canyou come to NYC and you can get a good fish and chips. Can't help you so much with the humour!

ChipsandGuac Tue 24-May-16 03:57:20

I don't worry about gun crime in the slightest. In the near decade I've lived here, I've never seen a gun. The worst crime that happens in my suburb is someone forgets to pay their landscaper and their grass gets too long.

Want2b, we always know when we've crossed the NJ border as the driving goes to pot! Last time I drove on the GSP, the 5 cars right in front of me crashed into each other. I still can't work out how that happened. Have you moved? And congrats on the new baby!

DeliveredByKiki Tue 24-May-16 06:41:39

I haven't seen it either but the point remains that I wouldn't give a moments thought to a similar incident in the UK. I don't even live in a high gun crime area (although there have been two seperate college shootings in the last year that made National and international press) - but the fact that it is even a considered possibility is horrible and sad and will eventually make me move.

Although close second is the sense of humour and constantly being told my accent is cute. Fuck off.

BelfastBloke Tue 24-May-16 07:06:24

The incuriousness. I think that's a function of the particular (southern) state, rather than the whole country.

But FFS! When you meet someone from another part of the world, you have ZERO interest in finding out anything about it?!!

mummytime Tue 24-May-16 07:36:28

Thats interesting about Jersey, I wondered why the car rental company had a restriction on how far into Jersey you were allowed to drive last year. (We were in Pennsylvania).

Want2bSupermum Tue 24-May-16 11:09:38

guac We are going to the zoning board on 2 weeks for permission to extend up and out. It's going to be an interesting project to extend.

As to driving in north jersey the issue is you have an awful system of planning. The infrastructure was not planned before things were built. Leaving the holland or Lincoln tunnel traffic goes down to one lane to get to the major highways. Couple that with exits from the left and right on an inconsistent basis and you have a disaster on your hands. Best thing Christie did was make sitting in the fast lane doing 60 an offense. Everyone undertakes and it is so very very dangerous.

Gun crime where I live is a rare event. The schools have excellent security because we have so many homeless people with major mental health and/or drug addiction issues.

Want2bSupermum Tue 24-May-16 11:12:30

Oh and another one.... I hate that fruit and veg where we live is so expensive for the quality you get. The supermarkets, including trader joes, don't have much in the way of freshly prepared foods.

DeliveredByKiki Tue 24-May-16 16:47:16

It's expensive where we live too even though most of it only travels 50-100miles!

ChipsandGuac Wed 25-May-16 02:21:29

I know what I hate! The fact that living in a good school district means that your property taxes are $$$$$ so that, unlike if we were living in the UK, the reality is that we will sell our family home when our children all leave home. And that every time you substantially improve your home (while spending your own money and giving income to the area), your taxes go up. And even though you don't even get a vote because you are not American, your taxes go up.

We've moved so much and I LOVE this house and I will be horribly sad to see it go. It has a million memories already. But not sad enough to waste a whole load of our income and, ultimately, pension on taxes.

Canyouforgiveher Wed 25-May-16 02:39:23

canyou come to NYC and you can get a good fish and chips.

where, where, tell me where and I will be there!! It has to be proper fish, chips, mushy peas and curry sauce style though.,

Canyouforgiveher Wed 25-May-16 02:45:57

I know what I hate! The fact that living in a good school district means that your property taxes are $$$$$ so that, unlike if we were living in the UK, the reality is that we will sell our family home when our children all leave home

But you will sell your family home at an huge premium because of that good school district. the one you will be complaining about once your children no longer need it.

your property taxes are going towards your children's education. Isn't that great. there are retired and childless people in your town/city whose taxes are equally supporting your children's education. Are you really complaining that when your children stop getting the benefit of the good school district you will have to move (because you don't want to pay high taxes for other people's children)? Not many people would have a lot of sympathy for that position.

Shanster Wed 25-May-16 02:53:20

I hate the constant fear of gun violence too. The first time I took my daughter into Kindergarten I couldn't help but imagine what it would be like for her when the school was in lock down. Her soccer practise was cancelled last year after 30 mins when a lone guy with a visible gun was standing watching...not a parent, nobody knew him. Police were called and said we have open carry laws, nothing illegal about it.
I do like the weather, its really easy to get a job in my field, and in my area the schools are really excellent. I've been here 12 years, never really made proper friends though, something is just culturally very different here.

Canyouforgiveher Wed 25-May-16 03:08:41

Shanster where do you live? I am an US citizen but wouldn't live in an open carry state or a death penalty state,

KickAssAngel Wed 25-May-16 03:43:41

Even though I live in an area with lots of hunting, I don't know anyone who keeps a gun (some have rifles out on their ranches for hunting, but keep them locked up). I'm sure there are people with guns, but there aren't many.

I'm a teacher, and I do find the training a bit confused in a scary way. Particularly the bit when they show the stats and the teachers NEVER make it out of those situations. But if there were a gunman at the door, I absolutely would stand in front of the kids.

I also hate that the cost of flights home has tripled since we moved here, and keeps going up even with fuel prices having dropped so much. Feels suspiciously like price fixing. Not being able to afford to go home (or having to really hustle to get flights) upsets me a little.

HerRoyalNotness Wed 25-May-16 03:45:41

belfast I experienced that the other night at a work function of DHs. Sat next to a local and asked them all about themselves, kids, work, etc.. When her DH said to me you're from UK too? And i said no, I'm from x country, she went ohhhhh. Then carried on talking and did not ask me a single question.

All my school gate mum friends are expats too. Funny how we just gravitate towards each other.

Want2bSupermum Wed 25-May-16 08:31:44

canyou A Salt and Battery is expensive but excellent. It's a short 25min trip and I went there one night when I had pregnancy cravings. DH was laughing at me until I made chips and poured over curry sauce.

guac I hear you on property taxes. We are looking at going from $15-20k because we are adding 10% sqft. The reason for the large increase is because we are renovating the ancient bathrooms. You pay more in taxes based on the condition of your home. The subfloor is starting to rot so I'm close to just fixing that and leaving everything else to avoid the tax hike. I'm very happy with the school district even though the test results are awful. Oh and $15k or $20k a year in taxes is average.

ChipsandGuac Wed 25-May-16 11:35:39

Canyouforgiveher There are very few childless and retired people in our town because the property taxes are so high. The vast majority of people don't spend $30k a year on property taxes when they don't need to. It's just private education with a different name.

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