Returning back to the US this weekend I discovered among the piles of junk mail that I actually had some good news; the Removal of Conditions (ROC) on my green card had been approved! When you first move to the US you get a 2 year conditional green card and you need to file paperwork to remove the conditions on the card. You then get a 10 year green card and don’t have to worry about USCIS for 10 years which is a blessing, believe me. I applied last year but there was a backlog of over a year for processing ROC (you can see why I’m glad I don’t have to deal with USCIS for 10 years haha).
They finally got round to processing my application and now a shiny new 10 year green card is on its way to me. I’ve decided that to mark the occasion of getting my green card I’d set myself 10 challenges. Here they are.
1. Learn how to not mix up American and British words. I have an unfortunate habit of using words that mean something different in the US and embarrassing myself. Playing a word game with friends one day I changed my mind about what I was writing and asked if anyone had any rubbers. Of course I’d forgotten that in America rubbers are called erasers and rubbers mean condoms so I’d effectively just asked a room full of people for condoms. *blush*
2. Learn what Americans call things. Not learning the local terms can be a challenge, even simple things like when I order coffee and they ask me what type of milk I want. I forget what the different fat content milks are called in the US so I blurt out “normal milk” or “semi-skimmed” (the UK name for what I drink) and then end up taking the first thing that they offer because I’m embarrassed and want to escape.
3. Grow up! There are a lot of words that aren’t rude in American English but are in British English and I must admit that I find it ridiculously amusing when I see a cottage called Knob End or “shag” on sale in a store. I need to stop doing that!
4. Learn American measurements. I refuse to use Fahrenheit but I should learn the conversions so that when someone asks me how cold it is outside I can say 15C which is 59F instead of just saying 15 and getting blank looks because people think it can’t be that cold out.
5. Develop a good fake US accent. If you are a Brit living in the US people are going to put on a fake British accent around you and it’s always terrible. Naturally my response is to do a fake US accent back and my fake US accent is also terrible (the only accent I can do is southern and I can’t do it without saying “I do declare”). If I was able to do an accurate impression of someone I’d have the upper hand!
6. Dress for the weather. In the UK the weather is very mild so I’m not used to it stopping me doing anything. We had a big snowstorm in Boston earlier in the year and about 5 people made it into my office and I was one of them. I had jeans and a wool coat on too so the snow stuck to me and I looked like a yeti. One of these days it’s going to catch me out!
7. Visit all 50 states. Due to some road-tripping before I moved here I’ve been to 29 of the 50 states so far but my goal is to visit all of them. Look, I know there’s not much in North Dakota but it would be pretty cool to visit all 50, okay?
8. Become a citizen? I’m eligible to apply for citizenship soon but I’m still wrestling with the idea. I think that I probably should because then I’d be able to vote and God knows my vote is sorely needed the way things are going.
9. Take my driving test. Much to my shame I still haven’t driven since moving to the US despite the fact that I’m a competent driver (or was before I stopped driving haha). I take public transportation (such as it is) to work. Partly because Boston drivers are so scarily incompetent and partly because I’ve heard horror stories about the RMV (where you go for driving paperwork) I haven’t been able to make myself do the test yet.
10. Blog more often. I’ve been terrible lately, haven’t I!