That Awkward Moment When You Forget You Live in a Foreign Country

Sometimes I am a total idiot and I forget that I live in a foreign country. Sometimes this doesn’t come back to haunt me and sometimes it does. Last night I was writing a Christmas card to a friend who also lives in the US and I wrote USA on the bottom of the address so now she’s going to think that I’m the dopiest chap she knows and so will the USPS. The local Post Office was having a customer appreciation day when I popped in to buy my stamps last week and this gave me a warm glow as Royal Mail never provided me with cookies or mulled cider when I bought stamps in the UK but the USPS at least pretends to care by giving me food. Sugary bribes always work with me, until my letter gets lost in the post that is.

Last week I was going to join my coworkers in a karaoke bar in Boston after work on a Friday night (I promise that I wasn’t planning to sing) and the doorman refused to accept my green card as ID. Bearing in mind that this is an official US government document that costs a fortune and you have to jump through hoops to get this was pretty ridiculous. I refuse to carry my passport around with me everywhere I go (it has to last 10 years and they are pretty pricey if you need a replacement). So that place is never getting my business again. One time on a visit to the US before I moved here someone looked at the word UK on my driving license and said “I’ve never met anyone from Ukraine before”. I’m not joking. Ah ID, always giving me issues.

I went ice skating with friends recently (I didn’t fall over in case you were wondering). When the girl at the skate rental asked me my shoe size and I couldn’t remember what my shoe size was in the US she sensed my confusion and hearing my accent she said “we can deal with European sizes.” Of course I forgot that European and UK sizes are different so I said I’m a size 8 confusing her as my European shoe size is actually 42 so a size 8 in Europe would be hamster sized feet. Eventually  she handed me a pair of size 8 US shoes which were too small for me (I’m US size 9) and I just kept them because I was too embarrassed.

The world’s busiest rink

I guess the moral of the story here is that I should never leave the house and I definitely should never have left the country. Ah well, America, you’re stuck with me now!

14 thoughts on “That Awkward Moment When You Forget You Live in a Foreign Country

  1. Sometimes crossing a state line feels like entering another country. For instance when I go to California I forget I have to pump my own gas and then I’m outraged when I see sales tax on my receipt and I tell them I’ve been over charged.

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