An American Expat in Britain tries to find better word to describe her situation
Posted on December 29, 2008 by peacefulyorkshire
Sylvia left a comment on our About page last week and wrote:
“Hi, I’m a Leeds lass living in the middle of Kansas and I had a very hard time adjusting when I first got here. The women here were a problem for me as they all had the cheerleader mentality and I couldn’t relate to them in any way at all. After 33 years I can certainly hold my own, you just have to get to know people and adapt. I must say that when we went back to London several years ago I couldn’t relate much to the Brits and so I feel like I’m in no-mans land sometimes. Love your blog. “
I love our readers. Yes, that would be you, lovelies! You not only inspire me but encourage me to think about life in Britain differently. Y’all are fantastic.
I am writing this from America right now where I am visiting my family for Christmas. Being here as put a different spin on my perception of “fitting in”. I realize the longer that I stay in Britain, the less I fit in America.
SO if the Americans don’t treat me as one of them:
“So, like, you’re like, living where again?” she asks, “Germany or something?”
“Um, its England” I say apologetically, but thinking she has no clue about her geography
She then says “Whats it like over there– do you all wear bowler hats to work?”
And the Brits don’t treat me as one of them:
“In England we don’t say bay–sil we say bahh–sil, says the English waiter, “and I am afraid we don’t have doggie bags, whatever those are”
Where does that leave me? Where do I belong?
Am I to move to the middle of the Atlantic ocean where I should live on a mega-boat in the middle of the two?
Like Sylvia in her comment above, I feel I am in this middle place (no-mans land) where I am not a Brit, but I am not an American.
The only word for this scenario is expatriate which I know, I know, comes from Latin, apparently. But it sounds more like ex-patriot, a word which sounds like I have given up my American patriotism! A word that sounds like I have turned my back on my fellow country men!
Surely there is a better, nicer word…
Maybe I could say I am an Ameribrit.
Or how about a Briterican? Hmmm…