Author Archives: scepticalexpat

About scepticalexpat

British 30something wannabe academic, moving to Chicago for three years in August 2010.

Syntactical drift

I’ve been a bit coy about my area of academic expertise on the blog up to now, but here is where I half-out myself: I am a person who used to study syntax. M and I thought we were pretty … Continue reading

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Porch culture

This post is dedicated to J, L and Z, our first and best guides through American culture, whose fine porch swing is pictured above.  There was a porch on the house where I grew up, in the north of England, … Continue reading

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Cake

I’m feeling emotional today after saying our first goodbye. So this is by way of a consolatory post where I remind myself that all is not lost: we may be losing some friends, but we are returning to the land … Continue reading

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Log cabins

With a few months left in America, we started in April to tick off (or check off, as people here say) some trips that we felt sure were essential to a full American experience. First up: the log cabin. To … Continue reading

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Repatriation

It’s coming. Our time in America is almost over. I’ve booked our flights, I’ve got a job starting in September, and I even have a man coming to give me a quote for moving our personal effects (I love how … Continue reading

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A mother’s curse: the horror of the toploader

American washing machines are terrible. Let me count the ways. 1) They are enormous. This means they are invariably located in the basement. If you live in an apartment, standard practice is that there is a laundry room for the … Continue reading

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Valentine’s Day: it’s all about the children

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m sure it was supposed to be Christmas that was all about the children. Valentine’s Day, surely, is about the following: making single people feel desolate; charging couples a mint to go out for … Continue reading

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