After spending the majority of six months in and around Newcastle, I have almost stopped gawking and shouting, “Good lord! That is a THOUSAND YEARS OLD.”
I am an American from California living in the UK. An expat who married someone from a different culture and country that the one I came from. Our every day life has become a mix of language, culture and customs from the three different countries we have lived in so far. To someone from any one of those countries, our manner of doing every day things probably looks quite quirky, but we’ve gotten used to it. I don’t feel that every day ‘other’-ness that I did at the beginning. We’ve ironed out our kinks and found a happy balance of traditions which feels normal to us now. We speak to each other in a mix of Scots dialect, American slang and bad Portuguese. We have both found new foods from all three countries that we’ve adopted as our own. We have both accepted that there is no such thing as driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the road, only different traffic rules to follow (or not) for different places.
But I still can’t get used to this.
It is just so hard to wrap my brain around so many structures, buildings, walls, castles, churches, fortifications and homes which were built a thousand years ago. Built by own ancestors, who spoke English and who created the foundations of my own culture (quite literally).
To live in a place where those foundations are still showing through the fabric of modern day life has become one of the last bits of every day life that I’ve still not quite gotten used to, and I hope I never do.
That sense of awe and wonder are part of what I love about this nomadic life of ours.