OK now serious work! we needed to prioritise a ‘things to do list’ where do we start?
Contact the bank re account & name change
Replensih fridge with food and wine (refrigerator also needs replacing)
Driving, car, title and tag
Retail therapy – clothes ( need summer clothes!)
Driving – me
Apply for Social Security number
Retail therapy Home and clothes – my philosophy is you can never have too many shoes!
Book with hairdressing salon
Driving – me
Is there a common theme here?
What we did not realise is; in order to obtain a tag for the car (licence plate and road tax equivalent in the UK), we were required to have a Georgia driving licence. In order to obtain a Georgia driving licence we had to sit both a theory and practical driving test! It is also state law that if you are resident in Georgia for more than 30 days you are required to have a Georgia licence.
No pressure there then!
We had been given a temporary tag from the dealership where we bought our car, but it was only good for 30days initially, so we had to extend it.
It is not enough that you have driven for over 30 years and have a UK driving licence, we had to go through it all agian. My husband downloaded the DDS handbook for both of us to study road signs and the laws of the highway.
He took his test and passed.
We then could obtain our tag and plate for the car. That still left me to take my test and I hadn’t driven the car yet!
Time to take the ‘bull by the horns’. Now folks imagine this scenario; first I went to open the drivers side door – on the wrong side! Yes, of course the steering wheel and controls are all on the opposite side of the car. Its also an automatic car.
Lesson 1 – drive around the sub division. Whey hey! although my palms were sweating, we arrived back home safely – after a journey of less than 10 minutes, it was a start! Next time – venturing onto the road.
This is going to be a long journey and a few more grey hairs. Back to the list – find a hair salon! Only the best Vidal Sassons in Buckhead – Lennox Mall. The hubby drove me there and then picked me up. Next time I had to drive – that gave me 1 month.
Lesson 2 – Oh so scary – on the road heading to Best Buy for a GPS system. Husband is a very patient man.
The Lawn Mower Incident
As a diversion and while we were out and about…… (I handed over the car reigns to my husband) we decided to go and buy a lawn mower. What could be simpler?
Home Depot had a good selection. We chose one and managed to get it home, complete with gas (petrol) and oil.
My husband was off on his travels again, so in his absence I decided to test the mower. Instructions read, I ventured out into the front garden. I pulled and pulled on the starter cord to start the mower, no avail. One of the neighbours was in his garden so I approached him, introduced myself and asked if he could help me with the mower. He spoke limited english and my spanish extends to ordering food, paying the bill and gratias. However, he lowered the mower settings and started the mower up, it just needed a bit of strength and technique. I took control and the darn thing stopped. At this point a huge vehicle and trailer pulled up. A tall, muscular black guy got out and asked if we needed help. He looked at the mower and said to me “Maam, you have the wrong mower, you have a push mower and you should have a self-propelling mower” in his slow southern accent. Of course I had not got a clue what he was talking about!
I looked at him puzzled, ‘It’s fine” I said. He asked me how long I had the mower, I told him one week. “Maam you need to take it back, they gave you the wrooong mower” he then tried to explain the difference between a push mower and a self-propelling mower. He offered to take the mower back or meet me at the store. I told him politely thank you, I would let my husband know. So the mower was all fired up, I began to cut the grass. “Maam you is goin ta struggle with that mower”. I said I would be ok. So he gave me his business card and left, the neighbour went back to his own yard. Front grass cut and I was sweating (90 degree heat). Now to start in the back yard…….The yard slopes down towards huge trees – off I travelled literally…..running as the mower took over ans gathered momentum, it was looked like something out of comic capers! Trying to get back up from the bottom to the top was even harder – pushing a push mower uphill! breathless and sweating I decided I neede a new strategy. So I approached the task differently going from side to side instead of up and down. Half way the landscaping guy – Shawn paid me another visit. “Maam, I couldnt leave without making sure you was alright”, I told him I was fine – (yeah right). He offered to finsih the job for me and without any charge. Obviously, the sun had gone to my head, I must have been delerious and dehydrated, I refused his offer! He made me promise to return the mower, I told him I couldnt return it now as I had used it, but he told me I could return it and it wouldn’t be a problem!
In true British mad woman spirit I continued until I had finished. I was breathless, dehydrated, and my feet were green.
Moral of this story:
‘Only mad dogs and english men go out in the mid day sun’, in this case in flip flops. It felt so good to get in the shower! drink 1 pint of water and put the mower away.
An uphill view of the bottom of the back yard
Did we take the mower back? Yes, Home Depot gave us a full refund, despite the mower being used and covered in grass cuttings. We chose another mower – self propelling. It is now in the garage hardly used as we now have our grass cut twice a month professionally, for now at any rate.
I think that the DIY stores could learn from the returns policy over here.
So here we are the crazy Brits have arrived.
More to come next time!