Many small and random elements of my life here remind me that I live in AMERICA. I know that being aware of the country you’re living in should be (relatively) obvious on a daily basis, but Seattle is, after all, a city of counterculture. A few things that stick out for me –

  • My apartment has a garbage disposal, as well as a trash chute at the end of the hall. On moving in, neither the letting agent nor our relocation agent could properly explain to me where things go after you turn on the garbage disposal. I am yet to find a satisfactory answer to this question.
  • All my money is the same size and colour. This makes me happy when I look in my wallet and assume I’ve got loads of cash. It makes me sad when I realise that it’s all singles.
  • Everything is bigger. I know, I know, it’s such a cliche. But it’s SO true. I could easily fit two people into my fridge (not that I’ve been watching too much Hannibal. . . ). Portion sizes are just nuts – I keep bringing home boxes of spare food. Roads and cars seem unnecessarily large – at one stage, I was crossing a six2014-03-16 14.21.56 lane road everyday just to get coffee.
  • The only thing that is not bigger is beer – pints are too small. We have however, found a place that will do a proper sized pint for a dollar extra.
  • Mentally adding tax to prices is confusing my tiny brain.
  • The national anthem was played at the start of a 5k run. No one sang along, which actually made it a lot weirder.
  • There was green, “St. Patty’s Day” bread in the supermarket.
  • There is also a section of “British” speciality food, right between the Latin American section and the Middle Eastern section. It contains such wonders as HP sauce and PG Tips tea.
  • Writing the date – DEAR GOD, I cannot fathom why they put the month first. It makes literally no sense to me.

I am glad to be living in an alternative area in an alternative city – I like being awkward and contrary, after all. But I cannot escape the fact that I live in a nation with a somewhat unwieldy, schizophrenic sense of self. I’m ok with that – I knew it before coming here, of course. Still not quite certain how to negotiate my own space within it, as a British, Irish-tinged transplant. I’m sure I’ll figure it out.