OPINION: The first thoughts of an American in Sheffield

8 Sept 2015.......Walkers on Burbage Moor in the Peak District. . A long-term plan to support the future sustainable management of the moorlands on the edge of Sheffield is being considered by the council's cabinet committee next week. Picture Scott Merrylees SM1009/42f
8 Sept 2015.......Walkers on Burbage Moor in the Peak District. . A long-term plan to support the future sustainable management of the moorlands on the edge of Sheffield is being considered by the council's cabinet committee next week. Picture Scott Merrylees SM1009/42f
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I moved to Sheffield a month ago to take up a three-month internship at The Star and I am happy to say I’ve eased into life here with just a few mishaps along the way.

Holding up an entire bus full of people as I try to explain to the driver where I’m headed is something I’d rather not experience again – my sincere apologies to all the passengers on the 84 last Wednesday.

As an American who has lived in Taiwan, Denmark, and London, Sheffield has proved to be a pleasant mix of the country and city.

Having lived in New York City for the last three years, I’ve really enjoyed trips out to the Peak District, where the sight of any animal that’s not a rat or a pigeon is a sheer novelty.

Yes, the air is crisp and the scenery is beautiful, but I’ve never felt a stronger need for Google Maps to add a topography feature so I can determine what percentage of my 20-minute walk will be spent cursing my way up a hill in between gasps for air.

The cafes and restaurants here are pleasantly spacious, although I do wish they were open later into the night. A friend recently visited from London for his birthday and I was worried we’d have to resort to Sainsbury’s microwavable dinners when I realised most of the restaurants were closing after a day of sightseeing.

Is it just me, or is American food now trendy?

While I do enjoy a good burger as much as anyone, the best deal in town has to be the pies and pasties down at Staniforths bakery. My lunch hour has moved progressively earlier in order to beat the competition for those tasty jacket potatoes.

I will wholeheartedly agree that Henderson’s Relish adds a much-needed kick to mushy peas, although my co-workers tell me that I have no authority to speak about British food until I’ve tried a chip butty.

In New York, having a washer and dryer in the flat is a luxury only bankers seem to be able to afford.

I’ve spent too many Sunday afternoons at the laundromat vigilantly guarding my clothes from suspicious characters so I’m happy to report doing laundry is now a thing of ease. What I gain in convenience, however, I lose in toasty socks. The only thing I do miss about America are the gas dryers that leave my clothes piping hot after an hour.

The best part of experiencing new places is rediscovering the mundane parts of life, I think.

So while I’ve had much smoother journeys on public transport for now, I’m sure there are still a few surprises in store.