One Month In

Tuesday marked the one month anniversary of our adventure in the UK. This has so far been a very educational experience for us. We have been exploring a small area of a new country by bike, car, and train. Though we speak the same language, one of the big surprises for me has been the amount of difficulty I have had language wise with understanding some accents as well as different names for things compared with what I am used to. At times I feel like I am taking words in and then translating them for myself so that I can understand them. Much like all the years I studied the Japanese language, there is a slight delay in comprehension as I took the words in and translated them into English in my head.

Another big difference has been my job. Though I have a similar position in the same specialty in the UK as I had in the US, there is definitely quite a bit of change going from a private practice in the US to working for the NHS. I’m sure I will be writing quite a bit more about it in upcoming blog posts. I definitely stick out as I try to do a similar job, but am learning different names for lab tests, different units for lab values, different names for instruments. Instead of qid when reading the frequency a drug will be given four times a day, the Brits use qds. Instead of NPO for nothing by mouth, it’s nil by mouth. Instead of having bloodworm done or labs done, the Brits have bloods done.

We have started to settle down some here. We continue to live in temporary housing through the hospital where I am working. You can’t beat the convenience of a three minute walk to work. However, we can’t totally settle down yet. We will need to move in the next few months prior to our eldest daughter starting school in the fall, because the local schools do not have good ratings. We are also still waiting to receive all the items we shipped from the US. I finally broke down and bought a mixing bowl and some measuring spoons today. I have mentioned before that we have really enjoyed Canterbury when we have visited, with better access to food and a richer culture due to the presence of several local colleges. This is the area that we are focusing on now to find a place to live. Bill contacted a school today which has good ratings and open spots for the fall. We have also been looking for a furnished flat. The availability of furnished flats is fairly low, but if we could find one in a location we like in our price range, we won’t have to buy a lot of furniture that we later on would need to sell.

We have gone a month without a TV. I don’t think we miss it terribly, but this will likely change some when the weather gets colder in the fall and we are not spending so much time outside. We have ordered a TV to be here in time to watch the Tour de France which begins this weekend. Speaking of the Tour, the first three legs are in the UK. Bill and the girls plan to go to London on Monday to see some of the festivities and hopefully some of the riders as they finish the leg in London before continuing in France on Tuesday. If I am able to get work done a little early, I will hopefully be able to join them or meet up with them. There are already plans for dinner that evening at Wagamama’s, a noodle shop in London that we ate at when we visited our friend Kelly in London in 2001.

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