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I moved to the UK from the US, AMA

166 replies

Avalla33 · 27/07/2018 15:19

It's still early days, as I moved here about a year ago. I don't know if I have anything particularly interesting to say, but I'll try to answer any questions the best that I can.

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Candyflip · 27/07/2018 15:22

What are your views on single payer healthcare?

LePolyBag · 27/07/2018 15:24

What foods do you miss?

redexpat · 27/07/2018 15:24

Where are you from in the us? Do you find people to be more or less polite? How do you find the food.

Avalla33 · 27/07/2018 15:30

@Candyflip morally, I feel better about it. It's certainly less complicated as a patient!

@LePolyBag that's a tough one. Sometimes I crave certain restaurants/fast food places that aren't available or are not easily available where I live. I really love burgers, and while I've had some good ones here, I like the ones back home more. I definitely miss Mexican food, as that is understandably not as common here.

Most of the things in the grocery store are the same, or similar enough. It takes a little more effort to figure out substitutes but that's about it.

@redexpat I'm from the Midwest, where people are generally down to earth and friendly. I think politeness is difficult to asses since cultural values are different. I find social interactions here a bit more formal, which could be considered polite I suppose? Overall it's about the same. The food is generally good, but I find a lot of menus a bit meat heavy (and I'm not a vegetarian).

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BiteyShark · 27/07/2018 15:52

How do you find driving here? Do you now have a 'small' car?

I have driven all over the US and love it, big cars, wide lanes unless in city, massive parking spaces etc.

yawning801 · 27/07/2018 15:54

Are you fitting in well with colleagues etc? Are you making friends?

Avalla33 · 27/07/2018 16:00

I've only just started learning to drive here, @BiteyShark. To be honest, I'm quite terrified! I did drive lots in the States, but everything here is so narrow and I have to be a better driver.

@yawning801 I am retraining so no colleagues to speak of yet. I have made some friends here but it's still at that level where I can't truly be comfortable. I miss having people that already know me and like me for who I am. It is difficult to keep from being too enthusiastic as I find people here more restrained.

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crosser62 · 27/07/2018 16:03

Trump... what do you think?


BiteyShark · 27/07/2018 16:04

Good luck with the driving. I do find it much more chilled in the US, even NYC wasn't as bad as some parts of the UK Grin

BiteyShark · 27/07/2018 16:06

I have another question. How do the prices of food compare. Supermarkets were quite pricey over there the last time I went but eating out was cheaper.

Avalla33 · 27/07/2018 16:22

I'm horrified that he is our president, but I know people who voted for him and I'm not surprised that they did. Interesting political times for both countries.

Thanks @BiteyShark, I'm determined to be brave! I agree with you broadly re: prices. I think that the low cost of eating out is problematic for health reasons and more should be done to encourage people to cook at home.

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MissConductUS · 27/07/2018 18:01

Did you move from to a similar setting in the UK in terms of big city/suburb? Did you move by yourself or with family?

I'm not sure what could be done to encourage people to eat at home more other than a tax on restaurant meals, which wouldn't be fair to people who were traveling or tourists.

As my handle implies, I'm also an American. Smile

Avalla33 · 27/07/2018 20:56

Hello! waves

I moved from a large city to something much much smaller. I moved by myself to be with my husband, so I suppose it was a move for family?

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MissConductUS · 27/07/2018 21:06

I would say that qualifies as a move for family.

I'm in the US (New York), just in case that wasn't clear.

Do you miss air conditioning? I've heard that it's not that common in the UK. Which fast food places do you miss the most?

Sevendown · 27/07/2018 21:10

Did you go to college and how much debt did you leave with?

What do you think of U.K. education?

Will you stay here? At what point can you vote and who would you vote for?

Do you agree with the death penalty?

Do you use public transport? What do you think of it?

BlueEyedBengal · 27/07/2018 21:29

Do you have to pay a t v licence or equivalent? Did you pay council tax and was that cheaper than a house cost in tax in the uk? And how did you tax a car or not in the us? Thank youGrin

Avalla33 · 27/07/2018 21:37

@MissConductUS yes I miss air conditioning! Especially now. Today was pretty unbearable. These houses are not built for warm weather.

I should say that I don’t miss it all the time, but there are times I wish we had a Jimmy John’s or Potbelly’s or Which Wich. I have to say I do miss Taco Bell! And Chipotle, though I think it’s in London. A lot of the other chains are here and we don’t eat them often, so it’s not a big deal.

How did you come upon this site?

@Sevendown I was lucky enough to leave college with no debt. My parents financed it and as I went to state school, tuition was much cheaper than private universities. I don’t have much experience with the educational system here but from what I’ve heard, it’s quite good. The school system is confusing to an outsider!

We are here indefinitely. I don’t have plans to return to the US but I wouldn’t rule it out either. I will not be able to vote until I’m a citizen, I believe, so that’s five years here total. I don’t know who I’d vote for, as I haven’t been very impressed by what I’ve seen. I can’t imagine I’d vote Tory, possibly I’d vote Labour.

I’ve never agreed with the death penalty. It seems archaic.

It’s difficult to compare public transport since I’m not in a similarly large city, but what I’ve used hasn’t been too bad. A bit sparse perhaps, not very timely, and buses seem to stop too early in my opinion. Also I can’t shake the feeling that these buses look top heavy and will one day topple! The trains here seem very expensive to me.

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FloppyBoobs · 27/07/2018 21:41

What's the best peanut butter in the U.S?

Avalla33 · 27/07/2018 21:44

@BlueEyedBengal there’s no tv license, but there’s also no BBC! It was a strange concept to me at first.

Taxes are very complicated and totally dependent on where you live. With cars you pay a registration fee but there may be additional taxes. Houses do not pay council tax but rather a property tax based on the value of the house. Once again, these rates vary quite a lot depending on where you live, but I think overall it’s considerably more than council tax. At the same time, I feel like many areas provide more services than the council does here. It seems like all I read about is how the council can’t afford this or that.

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Avalla33 · 27/07/2018 21:45

@FloppyBoobs I’d say the best is the kind you make yourself! Other than that, I’m not much of a connoisseur. I used to just buy whatever major brand was on sale, probably JIF or something.

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Avalla33 · 27/07/2018 21:46

Maybe @MissConductUS would like to weigh in on the peanut butter issue?

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Slydiad · 27/07/2018 21:54

Are there any differences between the two countries that surprised you?


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MrsGrindah · 27/07/2018 21:59

Are you the Duchess of Sussex?

CaptainKirkssparetupee · 27/07/2018 22:05

Jelly Babies, I like asking Americans what they think of them.

What do you think of them?

Avalla33 · 27/07/2018 22:32

@Slydiad that's a good question, but so difficult to answer. If I had to pick one thing I'd say religion here, specifically Christianity. People are generally less religious than I expected, and it manifests in a different way. I've encountered more religious people in the US and it's a larger part of their lives.

I was surprised at all the rubbish packaging in the grocery store. So many things aren't resealable, or if they are it's a poor mechanism. And there are so many weird packaging choices that make things harder to recycle. Not that we are great about recycling in the US, I think I just expected more of the UK!

The house buying process in England took me by surprise. I can't believe that such a large financial decision is left so unsecured.

My husband not knowing the stress of Tax Day and filing your own taxes.

The warmth of people. It is expressed in a different way, but it's there. I also feel that there is more multiculturalism here in some ways. There's better representation in the media and you're never far from some sort of non-English cuisine.

Sorry to disappoint, @MrsGrindah Grin

I've never had them, @CaptainKirkssparetupee. Are they good?

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