By Michael P.
Grade 4, Tennessee
Country of Origin: United Kingdom

Peter Colpus, age 59
Peter Colpus is an England immigrant. Last night I had a chance to call him and ask him some questions about their trip to America.

Michael: Why did you come to the US?

My first trip was on business selling carpet to one of our customers in Texas and liked it so much my wife and I decided to at least give it a try. I saw great opportunity in the US and hated the healthcare system and high TAXES in England

What year was it and how old were you?

We came to the US in 1985 and I was thirty two years old.

Michael: What did you leave behind?

My wife and left behind all of our family and friends. We also sold all of our belongings except for four large trunks of clothes, mostly my wife’s.

Michael:Did you support the idea of coming here?

Absolutely. My wife was reluctant but we were both excited about the opportunity.

Michael:Do you enjoy living here and why?

I love the US and it is the best decision I ever made. I have experienced so many things in the US that I would never have had the chance if we had stayed in England. Besides the job opportunity the thing I like the best is the weather. Anything, even the heat of Texas, is better than the endless cold damp days back in England.

Michael:Can you describe the day you left England to come here?

I spent the day in the pub with my rugby buddies and of course it was cold damp and raining.

Can you compare a few things between England and the US?

The food is much better in the US but I miss the small specialty food stores that still exist in England. The price is gas is twice the price as the US and housing is much more expensive. I would never be able to afford the same size house in England as I have in Texas. The one thing that I dearly miss in England is the pubs and the single malt.

Would you say you like it more here or in England?

Without a question I like it here better than England.

Michael:Do you think it is still a good idea for people from other countries to come to the US in search of the American dream?

Even with the recent downturn in the US economy the opportunity is still significantly better in the US than anywhere else I have been in the world.

Michael:What is the biggest culture difference between US citizens and the English population?

Tough question but I would say the biggest difference in the work culture. In England you start with over 20 days vacation and most people barely work 40 hours a week. In the States is radically different but the opportunity for working hard can be greatly rewarded.

Recorded by Michael, February 2012

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