The small differences are the most surprising

When moving country, you expect the big things to be different.  You know that the landscape isn’t going to look quite the same as home.  You know the food’s going to be bewildering.  And you know the language is going to cause some misunderstandings.  So it’s not the big things that take you by surprise.  It’s the little things that smack you in the face and say: “Gotcha!”.

We’re buying a piano, so I asked a piano technician to go and check out our preferred choice for us.  As payment, he asked me to post him a cheque.  No problem, I thought. Think again.

Problem #1 – How do you write a cheque?  There’s an extra space for a something on the cheques.  And where does the signature go?  No idea, so I asked one of the helpful people working in our local Blockbuster.  As it happens, the extra space is for me to write what the cheque is for, and it will be printed on our statement.  I like that.

Problem #2 – Where do I buy envelopes?  Ours are all in the container (though it wouldn’t have made a difference if they were here because American paper, and therefore American envelopes, are a different size.  They don’t even carry A4 in the shops, I now know).  No need to buy one today.  The lovely people in Blockbuster gave me one.

Problem #3 – Where’s the post office, so that I can buy stamps?  Easily sorted.  There’s one next to the supermarket, and the UPS store also sells them.

Problem #4 – What do the letterboxes look like here?  Blue, it turns out.  Though it took a moment or two to work out how to get the envelope in there.

So, between the arrival of Floyd and the posting of the cheque, I’m feeling a little bamboozled.

Max the gnome

About Natalie Gotts

I've been a management consultant, a nutritional therapist, a Journey practitioner and a mother. I've sold ostriches in China and personal safety devices in Hong Kong. Whatever I've done, and wherever I've been, I've written about it.
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2 Responses to The small differences are the most surprising

  1. Sasha says:

    By the way, in case you haven’t been told that, yet: you can leave your OUTGOING mail in your own mailbox and the mailman (mailwoman? mailperson??) will take it with him/her – just raise the little red flag, so he/she knows something is in there. I loved that about the States!

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