I thought it would be amusing to revisit my time abroad in Scotland and discuss how awkward I was. I’ve probably mentioned this before, but I can be pretty damn awkward. So if you’re planning a move to the UK in the near future, I can give you some helpful tips on how to feel really weird. Without further ado…
How to be an awkward American abroad:
+ Hold up the grocery line with your American swipe credit card. Since everyone else has quick and efficient credit cards with a chip and pin, the store clerk will be utterly lost when it’s your turn to pay. He’ll try all of the buttons on the cash register and it may or may not work. Today is not your day so you get turned away and have to put all of your groceries back, completely humiliated. Make a mental note to bring bank notes next time, even if you get confused counting out their monopoly money.
+ Attempt to drive on the other side of the road. You should have probably planned your driving lesson on a wider, less curvy road, but your husband decides to let you drive up in the Highlands. You get flustered, hit the curb, overcorrect and almost slam into a huge truck. Whoa, you almost died in the f-ing Scottish Highlands. Write that one down in your diary.
+ Forget which way to look when crossing busy streets. Left, right, left — errrr, no! Right, left, right. Yes, you try and pound that into your brain. Shit! Almost got hit by a bus. Good thing you’re still newlyweds and the husband decided to save you (would he do that in a few years? Who knows). Well, damn. Didn’t see that cab there either! You’re sweating now and should probably just go back to the flat; it’s safe there.
Don’t worry, you’ll catch on after a few months. Then when you move back to the States, you’ll be confused all over again.
+ Get embarrassed when people notice your American accent. A lady in the local Starbucks compliments your “cool accent” and you don’t know how to respond. You give her a stiff nod and turn red, all while trying not to spill your grande cafe mocha. Man, you’re awkward.
+ Try to throw away said coffee cup in a shop. More embarrassment ensues. Since you’re awkward and the cashier is awkward, this is how the situation plays out:
You (pointing to an empty cup of coffee): “Excuse me, do you have a trash can behind the register?”
Clerk: “Um, errr. What are you asking for?”
You (getting flustered): “A trash can behind the till?”
Clerk: *blank stare*
You (turning red): “…so I can throw my coffee away? Trash?”
Clerk: *blank stare*
You (arrrghhhh!): “A trash bin — a rubbish bin!”
Clerk: “Oh yes! Let me take that for you.”
*run away and hide*
+ Make a list of important lingo you need to remember. But doesn’t making a list of lingo just confirm that you’re awkward? Maybe.
Filed Under: Expat