Author Archives: abroadintheusa

About abroadintheusa

An expat Brit who's lived and worked in the USA for more than three decades.

Tipping in America

What’s with Americans and tipping? It’s one of the odd little quirks about this country that I still find baffling. You’re expected to tip not just the restaurant server but the guy at the bar, the hairdresser, the cab driver, … Continue reading

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4th of July: Flags, Hotdogs, and Fireworks!

Tomorrow is America’s birthday, which means three things will be ubiquitous across the country — flags, hotdogs, and fireworks. But first up, let’s get one quibble out of the way: no, the Declaration of Independence wasn’t really signed on July … Continue reading

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The Mosquitoes Are Back: Summer in Philadelphia

Summer has arrived on the eastern seaboard. I know this not because of the date or the temperature (although they are both relevant), but because I’ve just been inflicted with the first mosquito bite of the season. The calendar says … Continue reading

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The 13 Things I Miss Most About Britain (and the 4 Things I Definitely Don’t)

People often ask me: What do you miss the most about Britain? The obvious answer is certain people, particularly the bevy of nieces and nephews who are now producing offspring of their own. Beyond that, it’s actually a hard question … Continue reading

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Spring is sprung!

Spring has definitely sprung here in the eastern USA, bringing lovely colors, cascades of pollen, and a resurgence in wildlife. The trees around the neighborhood are sporting their spring finery, with pink and white blossoms everywhere. Even the non-blossom trees … Continue reading

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Paying for Healthcare in America

Can someone explain to me what it is about paying for healthcare that gets Americans so riled up? It’s one of the three things about this country that still totally baffles me after 30+ years — the other two being … Continue reading

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Finally, Baseball!

There’s so much crazy going on in the USA recently that it’s been hard to decide what to write about. Fortunately, we’re just days away from something important, timeless, and (mostly) a-political: opening day for the 2017 Baseball season. I’ve … Continue reading

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Americans love any excuse to play dress-up-and-party, and today’s the day everyone wears green. Yes, it’s St. Patrick’s Day in America, which means everyone claims Irish ancestry, wears silly shamrock hats and ties, and goes around butchering the pronunciation of … Continue reading

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Teenage Language

Parents and teenagers speak different languages. ’Twas ever thus; but when your teenager is growing up in a different country from your own background, it can add another layer of mutual incomprehension. Usually, it’s the parents who have no idea … Continue reading

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College Mail Deluge

While the weather continues to be absurdly changeable, there is one constant in our life at the moment: the deluge of mail coming into the house every day from colleges all over the USA. Our youngest is a junior in … Continue reading

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