A Year Abroad
Today I celebrate living in the United Kingdom for exactly one year! It has been a trip, a challenge, a growth experience and also my first year of marriage. It has been a busy one to say the least. Here are some of the things I've learned...
To do without:
- Rare meat (The English still cook like my mother did. You shouldn't eat anything lighter than dark gray.)
- Ice (Not in anything. Not cocktails, soda pop nor tea)
- Martinis (In the land of James Bond yet, for shame!)
- Insurance hassles (OK, things are starting to look better)
- Doctor's prescriptions (I'm autonomous here)
- Roads wider than a toothpick (there's a reason the cars are small!)
- Sushi (one can only do so much with cod)
But I've gained:
- 10 pounds because I'm in a car more than ever before in my life
- Fish and chips (The real McCoy!)
- The ability to drive a manual-transmission car on the other side of the road
- Knowledge that other health care systems actually can work well
- A tolerance for bureaucracy far beyond anything Medicare could come up with
- A bizarre hybrid accent of Brooklyn and Geordie
- A wider view on what health care could be and the possibilities that are available
- 19 hours of daylight in June (19 hours of darkness in December)
- The respect and acceptance of my colleagues
I admit, sometimes I feel like the character on the old TV show, "Northern Exposure," who is transplanted from New York to a small town in Alaska. The people here are certainly not like New Yorkers, but wonderful in a different sort of way. I miss my old friends and colleagues and the relationships that took 30 years to build. I miss my old neighborhood and having family and friends close enough to visit for a weekend.
I like the fact that despite being an "old git," I'm still able to change, explore, learn and grow; to start a new relationship, a new degree and to reinvent myself. I hope you'll come along for the ride as it continues for the next year. Thanks for the company so far! Tyrrah!