We now have our greencards which means we are classified as US permanent residents. I am getting closer to having my Colorado teaching license. Matt and I have our driver's licenses and cars. And Matt has started getting junk mail from credit card companies so he must be slowly building up a credit rating. So lots of things are finally resolved however some of the biggest hurdles might surprise you:
- in the USA light switches flick up rather than down, I am still struggling to get the hang of that one!
- Dressing in layers is imperative! After living in Melbourne for 8yrs you'd think I'd have some idea how to do this, but I am still usually too hot by the middle of the day on sunny days (which is most days)
- Toilet training the dogs to apartment living. It was done so easily when we first arrived here and were staying in the temporary apartment for the first 2mths. They got the hang of toileting outdoors thanks to me walking them every 2hrs for the first 3 weeks. However once we moved into our rental apartment Henry decided the dining room was the place to toilet because from there he can see the balcony and outside, so he figures that is close enough. I also think a major part of it is him marking his territory as a warning for the dogs that walk past frequently! So now we have an indoor dog toilet - for those ignorant people who have no idea what I am talking about it is fake grass in a plastic tray which is lined with disposable pads. He does use it but his aim is a little off so the area covered by the disposable pads is growing with each day. I think I finally have the area right for him, but we still end up steam cleaning about once a week!!
- The weather forecasts here are woefully inaccurate. Obviously the position of Denver makes it difficult to be accurate more than 1 day in advance. So we are learning not to make plans for the weekends until at least Friday;)
- Toilets here actually do require the use of a plunger once in a while or as Brett learned at McDonalds they call it a plunge - nobody knew what he meant when he asked where the plunger was kept! Why don't they just make the diameter of their pipes bigger, seriously you'd think it was rocket science.
- Beginning work in a US school was another eye opener for me with all the different vocab I need to integrate into my day. Garbage is now trash, lunch is recess, the gym is also the cafeteria or lunchroom and then things like; security swipe cards are required to enter the buildings, snowball throwing is not allowed but pretend gun play is.
- Spring starts on the 20th or 21st of March with the equinox NOT the first of the month.
- Speakly slowly and clearly is imperative especially when using a McDonalds drive thru window, because we now have accents which everybody loves but nobody can understand;)
- And last but not least Americans aren't the arrogant types portrayed on TV shows but are actually a very welcoming people who have all made us feel very welcome.