So, the youngest (now 14, almost 6 feet and henceforth the new "Man-Child)" has been coming to England since he was born. He feels very comfortable here and it was because of his enthusiasm for our move that we actually made it. He is, however, a Yank when all is said and done. There is much work ahead for me -
Doctor's "surgery" - Phoning around last week, desperately searching for an NHS doctor that would take us, I used "surgery" several times in my conversations. I couldn't figure out why the Man Child looked so alarmed until I put the phone down and he asked who needed surgery. In the US it's called the doctor's "office" and surgery is strictly reserved for the operating room.
Cling film - This was a doubler so to speak. In the US the plastic wrapping for left over food is called "Saran wrap" or "plastic wrap". (I've just looked it up and the term "cling film" is included but I never heard that and we never said it.) The Man Child cottoned on to the new name pretty quickly, until I realised he was saying "Clean film". That would be because his dad (the Ball & Chain) has a sightly southern US accent and that's how "cling film" comes out.
Bin sorting - Like many Brits, we have several bins for what used to be "trash". A smaller receptacle for food waste, a larger one for recycling and another for anything that doesn't go in those two. We have written, strict instructions about what goes in which bin and what happens if you get it wrong. (It looks like we don't get fined, but the bins don't get touched either.) I spent the first two weeks diving into bins to retrieve misplaced items. Plastic containers go in the recycling but not any plastic film, which must be removed and placed in the regular rubbish bin. No wet paper in the recycling - ("Yes, I know it will dry out but it clearly says No Wet Paper".) Impressing upon the Man-Child (and his father, I have to say) that just because you don't see the reason for a particular recycling classification, doesn't mean you can flout it.
Wear clean socks & wash your feet - As I mentioned in my previous post (see below), it appears that the UK has gone shoe-less. The Man-Child is now instructed to take note of the state of his hosts' feet upon entering a house and offer to remove shoes if need be. If you've ever had a teenage son you'll know that socks on feet are not necessarily clean on, no matter what happens to be available in the sock drawer. Two more things come into play in our house - the fact that the MC is wearing sandals and no socks (thank goodness) at the moment, and his shower is so small that he can't physically bend down to wash his feet. The chances of a complete pong-out when he removes said sandals are very high. Everyone is on notice.
You could write a book about all this stuff. Oh wait..............