Being an immigrant: 4 things I miss about England
I love Vienna!
Really ... this city is beautiful ... the architecture, the river, the parks, the climate (sometimes the winters are freakin' nippy, not gonna lie ... but the 40° summers make up for that) ... everything is just bloody lovely. Even the people (who have been stated as being some of the rudest in the world ... srs, they actually can be sometimes unless you know how to handle 'em!) are usually pretty friendly and helpful. The fact that Vienna has won best city in the world to live in for the past, like, 1000 years (taken from a serious statistical study ... honest) just goes to show what a flipping great place this is to make your home!
However, I'm an English girl and there are some things that I miss sometimes about good ol' blighty that Vienna can't give me ... I have no desire to go back to England and I'm super happy here buuuuuut there is always something to have a good rant about ... even when you are rich in many ways ... who doesn't love a good rant anyway?!
So I present for your reading pleasure ... things I miss about living in my home country now that I'm a bloody immigrant:
One - Sometimes the language difference sucks ... people here in Vienna mostly speak incredibly good English and my German is getting better and better but goddam it, I miss being able to just pick up the phone and call the bank or the driving licence agency or the whatever for a quick and simple fix to my problem where I don't have to wrack my brain about what I'm going to say for 45 minutes before I call ...
I have had instances talking to institutions where the conversation has literally gone something like this:
Me, in my best German: Hallo, bitte mein Deutsch is nicht so gut ... sprechen sie Englisch? (Quite a polite sentence, I thought)
Person on the other end: Nein
Me: Oh, ok ... bitte gibt eine person dort wer Englisch spricht?
Me: Oh .... um ... auf wiedersehen ... (cries into my English tea for being so pathetic and unable to communicate!)
I miss people getting my jokes or being able to use slang and I really miss just being able to speak at my normal rate and in a normal way ... you find, when you have lived abroad for a while, that you speak slower, more clearly (to help others to understand you) and that you start to adopt certain bad habits that you hear all the time. For example, I found myself the other day saying to my boss 'Ok, I go get the paper'! Arrg, nooooooooo! I'm starting to sound like one of those super annoying fellows who still speak that way when they are back in England from travelling ... maybe I already am one ... booooo ... Don't get me wrong, I believe fully in learning the language of the country where you are living and I mostly try to speak in German when I'm out, I'm also getting better at handling the phone too (it's so much harder to speak to someone in a different language when you can't see them!) but I'm not allowed to speak German where I work (being the Native English Speaking Teacher and all) and this makes things somehow a bit more complicated ...
Two - being able to get certain things like porridge, marmite etc without having to drive to a special shop in the centre of town and spend 7€ on a box that would normally cost a couple of quid! They do have their own version of porridge, I gotta admit ... but its called Hafer Schleim and no one wants to eat something that has slime in the title, I mean ... really? Ewwwww! It also tastes as good as the name suggests ... I'll leave that one with you **shudddder**
Three - Sunday hours! Seriously this is a city with nearly 2,000,000 inhabitants ... I mean, in my humble opinion, opening the shops on a Sunday would be great for business but here in Vienna pretty much everything closes down ... it's a little weird when you need something like onions and you can't just pop to the supermarket and get it on a Sunday ... on the other hand it kinda makes Vienna feel like a small town and there is a certain comedic value when you go out on a Sunday, everything is closed and there are young folks everywhere skipping about in Lederhosen and the like (I'm super serious right now ... you should see it ... its like being in a less drunken version of Oktober fest ... every Sunday!) taking in the air and walking by the Donau and doing such other wholesome activities.
Four - my parents and brother ... living so far away from my folks is somehow a little sad ... I would like to be able to visit them more often and think that seeing them once a year (or less) is a bit seldom. My brother also moved to France when he was about 17 so although I am actually closer to him, it still seem like years go by and we don't see each other much. Ohhh, the feels!
I'm sure there are many other things that I could think of to complain about but I actually don't want to ...
I feel extra lucky to live in this wonderful city and if these small irritations (which are not actually all that irritating) are the only things that I have to rant about then life is pretty sweet!
Do you live in a foreign country? How is it for you? I would love to hear your stories!