One of the best things about living in a different country from your own is being able to learn about your new home country. In a way, you're getting the best of both worlds. You can learn all about a country and culture from directly from insiders, and experience them as a local would, but at the same time you're somewhat removed from it all and you kind of 'pick and choose' your experiences.
I can imagine if you move to countries very far away from your own that culture gap might be difficult to bridge (or if you've moved out of economic or social necessity, your perspective might be different - I realize we're quite privileged here), but the UK and The Netherlands are close enough yet plenty different from each other for it to be interesting and fun.
This past week has been all about exploring the UK, marked first by a weekend in Edinburgh, Scotland . The cloudy yet magical city was all it should be and I imagined. No, I did not eat haggis, but did try black pudding (for breakfast, no less) and fell completely in love with the tartan outfits, the dramatic history (knights! swords! ghosts!) and the castles. Aye!
Speaking of outfits, the week after was very much focused on outfits (and royalty) as I wore my first (serious) hatted ensemble ever. The hat was really more of a fascinator, but I think it counts. I needed the hat, as well as a dress of modest length, as I was invited along to the first day of the Royal Ascot by my friend and colleague Hannah. Squee!
Hannah is probably the most British person I know - she lives on a dairy farm, bakes cakes for village fairs, and is an excellent clay pigeon shooter person. Her life is pretty magical, is all I'm saying. Hannah and her family were amazingly kind in taking me on for the day and they proved excellent guides into the world of royal processions, horse racing, and gambling. My father-in-law (who owned two race horses in his day) was on speed dial as well, and the whole day was just a fantastic experience. I can get into this British thing, I think. As long as it involves great outfits, some ceremony, and a Prince or two (alas, no Kate this time) - I'm game.