Expat to Expat Q&A: The Basics of Day to Day

It is time for the next month's installment of Expat to Expat: Q&A with Belinda and Bailie.
Every month they put together a series of questions for expats to answer from around the world.
Have a question? Make sure to contact them with your ideas for next month! 

1. What is your favorite food store in your city and why?
I like both Sainsburys and Morrisons. We get our groceries delivered to the house from Sainsburys. Food shopping has never been easier now that my husband can order from his phone and it gets delivered straight to our door. 

2. For your answer to number 1 is it ok to buy the store brand items or do you pay extra for a name brand? 
Yes the store brand items are great from both stores. Morrisons has a great pesto that has natural ingredients in comparison to the name brand and costs way less. 

3. What do you think is the best way to get about your city? i.e. bus, bike, car, etc
We do not have a car and so we get around most by walking. When needed we take the bus, unless its the four of us and then we will take a taxi since it is cheaper. My husband will ride his bicycle occasionally to and from work. I think all forms of transportation work well in Bath, England however there is limited parking if you are driving by car.

4. Which store do you turn to for basics like toilet paper or cleaning supplies?
Again this would be Sainsburys since we get all our food and basic supplies delivered from their store in town. When we run out of something that we need urgently I will pop down to the convenience store on our high street.
5. Where do you think is the best place in your city to get a cup of coffee (or beverage you prefer) and catch up with friends? 
 There are so many great places in Bath and the surrounding towns for tea or coffee with friends. I recently took my mum to the Regency Tea Room at the Jane Austen Centre. I recommend trying the Jane Austen blend if you come to Bath to visit.

6. What was your “eureka, I’m practically a native” moment?
I was born in Oxford and I lived in Norfolk later on for a few years as a young girl. When we moved back to England as expats in 2011 it had been about seventeen years since I had last stepped foot in the UK. So despite the fact that I am a dual citizen I moved here not knowing all what to expect our life to be like living here. I could not explain fully how wonderful it was for me to go eat out and see beans on toast on the menu. This has been one of my comfort foods all my life, and I used to be questioned strangely or made fun of by americans when I was living in the US. Then I realized everywhere that sold jacket potatoes (baked potatoes) also offered them with beans on top. I thought that was a 'bonnie-ism' and realized that it was just part of my culture from growing up in England. That was the moment I realized I was finally 'at home'. For a highly nomadic person as myself, a third culture kid, who often wonders where 'home' would be that was a huge Eureka moment. 

7. Does your real accent get in the way?
Yes it can sometimes. I think about it a lot when I am out of the house. I am aware of how the American accent stands out and I will not speak out about bad service because of my accent. Now a days I use a lot of the english Vocabulary or pronounce things they way they are spoken here without having to think about it first. Which really helps out though I still have a strong american accent. It just takes time to assimilate to the language and accent. The store I mentioned above, Sainsbury's, you pronounce it without 'u' so that it sounds like Sainsbrys. I realized upon talking with a fellow expat friend that people here will not correct you if you say it wrong. I had been saying that store name wrong for a year and a half. So perhaps my accent does not get in the way that much. However when meeting new people, they will get fixated on my accent and want to know an exact place my accent is from which has on easy answer if an answer at all. So I do wish that one day I will have such a soften accent that I can talk to people without it being an issue.


I am happy to introduce you today to my featured sponsor 
for the month of August, Gillian from Gladley.  
She is also an expat, but a Brit living in the USA.

Recommended Posts by Gillian:

Be Friends with Gillian: Bloglovin' | Twitter | Instagram

*photographs original to A Compass Rose blog


  1. I love Bath and have visited many, many times and it is so great to explore and find a little place for a drink and catch-up with friends.

    I love the idea of shopping via my phone - never tried it yet as I live in in an area where deliveries usually never make it as they can't find the house - even with sat-nav!

  2. Thanks for linking up with us, I always love reading your answers! I would love having groceries delivered in winter!!

  3. Do you think you will ever acquire a British accent or do you think that some of your american tendencies will just be forgotten?

    A Golden State of Mind

  4. I love Morrisons, I just wish they did home delivery as the closest one to us is about 40 mins away on the bus. I think they have the best produce out of all of the supermarkets & their bakery is divine!

  5. I can't tell how much I miss online shopping, I didn't go into a supermarket from one month to the next in england but it's pretty non-existent here in Canada and I really dislike that, grocery shopping is such a waste of time! I also hope my accent will soften in time as I get really embarrassed when people talk abut it

  6. I love your answers to this - Sainsbury's is my favorite, too! Although Waitrose comes in at a close second.

    How you feel about England is how I feel about Asia. I was born in the US, but spent much of middle and high school living and traveling through Southeast Asia. Part of my heart will be there forever. And I completely understand having American friends look at your strangely for the things you like to eat or how you say certain words. For instance, when I moved back to the US, I was used to calling an air conditioner, an air con. For some reason everyone found this hysterical. It made me feel so awkward.

    Lovely blog, by the way. Your pictures make me want to be a better photographer. :o)

  7. oh man, I tried getting my shop delivered once (I think we did Ocado just because it's what the family I nannied for used) but I hated not having control over what got picked! haha I think I have a problem..

  8. I love that beans are your eureka moment. You can't go wrong with a can of Heinz :)

  9. Is that a photo of chicken wrapped in bacon I see!? I make it for my US family all the time. Somehow the concept of wrapping meat in meat never crossed their mind.

    Also, about the beans - I'm not a UK bean fan, but I love US BBQ baked beans. It's just that I use and eat them the way a real Brit would, on toast, on potatoes, etc, and you're right that Americans find this so strange. Ditto having egg mayo on a potato. That just irks them out.

  10. Why yes, yes it is. Love it! My husband is the chef of the house and he likes to use bacon when he can. :) Oh and I totally ate US BBQ baked beans on everything like you too. So yummy! x

  11. haha..i know is it not silly? But yes, love that turquoise can. x

  12. We used Ocado when we first got here. Then it turned out Sainsbury's had better prices for delivery and Ocado was always out of things we had on our order.

  13. Love Waitrose, use to pop in there when we lived further south bc it was near my work and they had nice sandwiches. Aww that is so sweet about the photography. Let me know if you have any questions. x

  14. Food shopping is a waste of time. So love being able to order online. Hopefully we can both soften our accents! *crosses fingers*

  15. Oh man...and thats a bit too far by bus. I also looked up Costco after Reading Belinda's post and thats about the same distance by bus and yeah, not happening.

  16. I've had an english accent twice in my life because i lived here twice as a young girl. So im hoping maybe now as an adult it will just soften into a hybrid accent. Course I have a theatre background so I'm also looking at working at changing it too. x

  17. Thank you for having the link up, i love them! Just tend to need reminders. ;)

  18. There seems to be a new place for meeting up with friends around every corner. Bath is like a labrinth, with the way all the roads bend in circles. x

  19. I'm a California girl, but Bath is my favorite city. I was there when I was 15 and again a few years ago. I loved it. I had tea at the Regency Room and felt at home. I hope to be able to live there for at least a short while at some point in my life.


I love to interact with my readers and I try my best to respond back to all comments.

Bonnie Rose

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