The Pains of Moving to a New City

Today’s topic is a bit different than what we have usually been posting. This time it’s not related to English learning but rather something that every young adult experiences at some point in his/her life, moving to a new city. 

Now, I have moved to different cities a couple of times now. Although the first time, when I moved to Sopot, it was a bit different because I saw that move as a short-term move and as an adventure. Everything was easy-going, no rush, just taking in the moment(1.), savoring every step(2) I took, and trying anything new I could get my hands on(3). So as you see, very pleasant! However, this second “big” move was to Denver, Colorado.

My boyfriend, Sean and I decided to move to Denver. We rented a uHaul truck, packed all our belongings and drove to Denver from Florida. It took us a whooping(4) 30 hours for me and for Sean around 36 hours. Although the drive was exhausting, mentally and physically, it was well worth it. Even the move-in was worth-it (bums(5) included). 

Now that we are all moved in we are each experiencing some frustrations that happen to every one at some point of their big move - challenges. As an adult, you obviously have to figure these things out on your own, some will be constant others you’ll have to figure them out once and you’ll be done with them. This a list of those challenges I’m experiencing:

    • Transferring Driver’s License - I’m not sure how many of you know this but when you move from one state to the next permanently you have to transfer your driver's license, which means you have to go to this thing called DMV (Department of Motor Vehicle). Like any governmental office, it is inefficient and it has its handful of bureaucracy. The first time I went there they asked for documents that I was surprised of hearing, such as your birth certificate, passport, S.S.N (Social Security Number), and two proofs of residency. Now, I know people that have changed states and haven’t had to deal with this many documents. Usually it’s good enough to have your driver’s license and two proofs of residency. But in Colorado it’s a whole list of things, which truly is pain in the neck(6)
    • Getting to know the city - Another irritating aspect of moving to a new city is getting to know the city. For now I keep using google maps to get me everywhere. Which in and of itself(7) is a bit annoying since I’m certain people around me probably see me as the “new kid on the block(8)”. However, this is something that will change the longer I stay, so that’s comforting. Right now, even finding a gas station is a challenge! Thank goodness for Google Maps and technology itself! I must admit, something really awesome about moving to new city is trying out the new restaurants and discovering those little gems. 
    • Making friends - This is currently my biggest frustration. Making friends as an adult is really difficult! I would even go as far as saying that making friends is harder than finding a date. So as you guys know, I work from home, which means there’s no way I can meet new people. My only options in a world with no technology would be to actually go out…eeek! I’m joking, but really, it would mean I would have to go to cafes, bars or clubs in order to meet new people. And as many of you know, this is definitely not my strong suit(9). Thankfully, we have technology! Although, I must say I thought I was going to be a bit more successful with technology on my side. So this weekend was rough. Sean was working, basically all day on Sunday, which meant I didn’t have anything to do, other than run errands(10), clean, do laundry and cook. So I figured, why not try finding friends? So my hunt for friends began! I did a quick google search for best apps to find friends and I got a list of ten different apps. I read each summary and then picked by downloading them the ones I thought were the best ones. I must say, a lot of them are similar to tinder and it is definitely difficult to find a normal person. However, I did download Bumble (which is normally known as a dating apps, but apparently has the option to find, what they call it, your “BFF(11)”). As soon as I downloaded Bumble, I was pleasantly surprised with the “results”. All of them were women that seemed to be incredibly interesting! Can you imagine, I swipped right, I would say, 95% of the time. That’s how cool women are in this city. However, (not sure if it’s me) I’ve gotten three matches…which is kind of depressing! We’ll see how it goes within a few weeks. 
    • Parking - So I have lived downtown before, but I have never had a car when I have lived downtown. And so this is my first time living downtown and having a car. And it has been such a trial for me. First of all, I had to learn how to parallel park. I know, I should’ve learned this when I got my driver’s license, but in Florida, we don’t need to parallel park so it is hardly taught. Thankfully, because I have a great teacher, Sean, I was able to pick it up pretty quickly(12). Then there’s the little problem with parking…we have one street where we can park our cars for 72 hours, however, I would say 5/10 ten times I am successful at finding a parking spot. When I can’t find one, then I pay for parking which costs for 6 hours anywhere from $10 to $12 dollars, that’s what I call highway robbery(13)

All in all, it’s truly been a great experience moving to a new city with my partner. And although we have stumbled upon(14) some frustrations, it has been overall rewarding. Not only did I learn how to parallel park, but we also get to go to the mountains every weekend. 

 

1.  To take in the moment - it means something like “slow down and smell the roses”. Enjoy the present.
2.  To savor something - to enjoy something as much as you can.
3.  To get my hans on - when you want something very badly and want to get involved in it or to obtain something you wish to have.
4.  Whooping - can mean two different things, depending on context. 1) to give a cry of excitement. 2) used as an adjective and used when something is unreal or great.
5. Bums - another term for homeless people (informal).
6.  A pain in the neck - when something is annoying you.
7.  In and of itself- an expression used when we are trying to relay something alone. 
8.  New kid on the block - an expression used when you are new at something or somewhere.
9.  Not my strong(est) suit - an expression used when you’re trying to explain that something is not your greatest talent or skill.
10.  To run errands - and expression. When we “run errands” it means you have to take care of a “to-do” list but outside of your home, this can be as silly as going grocery shopping to more serious matters, such as interviewing different lawyers.
11.  BFF - an acronym for “best friends forever”
12.  To pick up something quickly - we use this when we are trying to relay that you want to learn/understand something in a quick manner.
13.  Highway robbery - an expression which is used when something is very expensive when it shouldn’t be.
14.  Stumbled upon - we use it when you find/meet something/someone by chance/coincidence.

 

 

American Edition: Top 5 Favorite American Idioms

Lots of people want to speak English fluently, but they’re missing one key ingredient - idioms. 

As we mentioned in our last blog post, Top 5 Favorite British Idioms, idioms are indispensable to any language. They are able to exude the essence of a country’s culture, traditions and history; in this case - the United States. 

Below are the top 5 most popular American idioms that you’ll hear left and right on the streets, TV or simply while on vacation.

  1. Up in the air - when something is uncertain.
    So are you moving to Paris this Fall?”
    “Not really, everything is up in the air still. I first need to hear whether I got the job” 
  2. Beating a dead horse - when you continue to talk about something that has no effect on the outcome.
    “John keeps applying for Google, but I think he’s beating a dead horse”
  3. To stab someone in the back - when you hurt someone close to you by either lying to them or deceiving them in any way.
    “Did you hear what Jane did to John?”
    “no, what happened?”
    “Jane stabbed John in back by cheating on him”

    “oh no, I can’t believe it! I thought they were the perfect couple!”
  4. Sit tight! - when you need to wait penitently for something or not do something until you are told so.
    “I wonder whether we got the house!”
    “Well, we’ll have to sit tight until the end of the week for the results” 
  5. Bite off more than you can chew - when you have taken up too much work/responsibilities/etc.
    “Jen usually takes 10 projects per month, but this month she bit off more than she could chew by taking 20 projects for this month”

Of course, there are way more idioms in English but these are just some of my favorite. Want to share yours? 

Brit Edition: Top 5 Favourite British Idioms

Did you know there’s approximately 25,000 idioms in the English language? 

That’s a lot of phrases to learn, right? Well, don’t worry, even English natives don’t know them all. So you’re off the hook*. 

Saying that, idioms are a very important aspect of any language. They add colour and character to the language, rooting it in historical, cultural and geographical relevance.

Therefore, if you want to get closer to British English, becoming familiar with local idioms is a great place to start. 

I’ve picked out my favourite quintessential British idioms for you to learn.

Top 5 favourite British idioms

1. Everything but the kitchen sink – almost everything has been included.

“When we went on holiday, Sarah took everything but the kitchen sink.”

Origin: According to Eric Partridge in Dictionary of Forces' Slang, this expression was first used in a military context, describing a violent bombardment where everything is fired at the enemy "except the kitchen sink" or "including the kitchen sink." It’s first usage dates back to 1918, in printed form, in a newspaper called The Syracuse Herald. 

2. Once in a blue moon – something that happens very rarely.  

“I exercise once in a blue moon.”

Origin: This expression has been in usage since the 1800s. It’s a development from an earlier expression, once in a moon, meaning once a month (occasionally). It first showed up in The Breviary of Health (1547), by the physician and author Andrew Borde (circa 1490 – 1549).

3. Bob’s your uncle – meaning there you are, as simple as that.  

“Just turn the key all the way left and bob’s your uncle: the door is open.”

Origin: In 1887, British Prime Minister Robert Gascoyne-Cecil appointed his nephew Arthur James Balfour as Minister for Ireland. The phrase ‘Bob’s your uncle’ was coined as it was believed it’s easy to become a minister when Bob is your uncle. Although this is not origin is confirmed, it is widely regarded as correct. 

4. Costs a bomb – something is expensive.

“Wow your watch is so nice –  it must have cost a bomb.”

Origin: It’s believed the term came around during the WW1 

5. Give a bell – to call someone or notify someone 

“I’ll give you a bell when I arrive home.”

Origin: Unknown. 

 

*off the hook is an idiom meaning not to blame or no longer in trouble.