Thursday, July 31, 2014

What NOT to do in England

Having been in London for a fortnight with my fiancĂ© who has never been to England, it was quite funny watching him try to understand the culture.  After having put up with him laughing at me for quite a few years because of my ‘mistakes,’ it was nice to see the shoe on the other foot, as it were.

These were some of the fantastically outstanding moments of our holiday

The Local Fete

If you happen to go to a perfectly English fete and there just happens to be a group reenacting the Civil War (which is a bit random, if you ask me) and you decide that you really, really need to talk to them because you are American and they are kind of “your people”, do not, I repeat do not shout out “The south will rise again!!!”  This just makes people really quite uncomfortable and take a couple of steps away from you.  People who go to local fetes tend not to know what to do.  The poor reenactment man was a little surprised too…
England - or America??
The Underground

When you have picked up a copy of the free morning newspaper, you do not need to read out loud to your fellow tube travelers the stories that interest you.  Although we appreciate how funny some of them are, it just makes us cringe to be so, well, loud while on the underground.  Yes, the trains are noisy, but do you see anyone else talking?  It just doesn’t happen.  The underground is not a social place – we don’t like to talk to strangers, or even anyone we are traveling with actually.  If we must talk to our friends, it is done in a hushed whisper.  Do not draw attention to yourself, that would be terrible.

Oh and FYI – this also goes for over ground trains too.  You will be quietly "tsk, tsk'd" if you are so bold as to talk loudly (or at all).

Shhh... No talking!
Fast Food

When you are in a fast food restaurant (let’s say Kentucky Fried Chicken, just for the heck of it... not that it was KCF, but it might have been) you should probably not expect the menu to be the same.  Just because you like a certain meal deal in America, doesn’t mean they will have it in England.  You probably shouldn’t get mad because (a) you can’t see what you wanted to order; (b) the person behind the counter has no idea what you're trying to order; (c) you have no idea what the gentleman with the extremely strong Indian accent is saying and (d) your order, when you do get it is wrong.  Just saying..


Look right, then left, then right again.  Not the other way around.  I don’t know how many times I had to put my arm out to stop someone (my fiancĂ©) from getting himself run over because he was looking the wrong way.  It sometimes even tells you on the floor which way to look for goodness sake!


Don’t keep trying to get in the driver's side of the car, especially if you’re not the driver.  It makes you look a bit silly (and, in fact, I now know what people think when I still try to get in the wrong side of the car in America).  Also, don’t slam your foot on the imaginary brake pedal every time a car comes towards you.  It’s okay, you’re a passenger – the driver’s got it all under control.  *smile*

Now, I know he will read this (he better had) and I want to tell him I love him to bits, but it was just so funny watching all his confusion.  I just can't wait to go back and do it all over again!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Holiday Photos

I've been away on holiday for a couple of weeks, so haven't been able to post for a while.  Not because I didn't have access to a computer or internet, but because I went "home" and there was just too much joy in my life for me to be able to think about anything else.  There were also many, many pork pies, sausage rolls, Marmite flavour Crisps, Mini Cheddars, Flakes and Lucozades to be consumed.  Well, pretty much anything I hadn't seen in the last few years was up for noshing.  I don't think there was anything I didn't eat, to be honest!
I'm back now and have been a bit busy the last couple of days.  Not lazy, busy.  I have not got jetlag, no I don't (no really, I don't).  *smile*
So because you might have been missing me... here's a few holiday photos.  Did I say I was acting like a tourist while I was there?  Yup - totally touristy and brilliant.  The weather was even lovely and I am not joking about that - it was hot!  (and very, very muggy and sweaty - but who cares, eh?)
The Shard
Yes, sunny Brighton Beach!

Quintissential London Phone Box

Does it look touristy enough?  I was with my American fiance who's never been to England, so I could endulge in all of the tourist stuff without looking like a muppet!  It was the best time - I just wish I didn't have to come back.  (But here I am)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

A Perfectly Awkward English Moment

The other day I popped into the hairdressers for a bit of a trim and to touch up my highlights.

I probably should have begun to get worried when she got out the bleach and began smearing it all over my head.  It did look a little light and not at all like highlights.  “Oh,” she said “this colour is going to look sooo good on you.  It’s looking so pretty!”  By the time my hair had been washed, partially dried and then washed again I was beginning to be really worried.  Oh dear, what was this going to look like? 

Well, as soon as I got back into her chair and she took the towel off my head I found out.  “Don’t you love it?” she gushed.  And then the English kicked in “Ummm.. it’s a bit orange” I managed to mumble somewhat under my breath.  “I can put a darker wash on it if you like” says she.  “Oh no, it’s fine” I said in true British understated anger.  Oh yes, it was fine alright – if you wanted to look like a bloody ginger tom!
I look like this
And then we got to the “trim” which apparently means “Take off three inches” in American speak.  I wanted it back into the A-line bob I previously had – “but not too short” I said.  Well, now I have ginger hair and a haircut that looks like I’m in infants school.  A perfectly (kind of) straight bob, no A-line anywhere to be seen.  An orange bob no less!
I wanted to look like this (kind of)
Of course, I’m English so what did I do.  Oh, yes – I said “It’s lovely,” I paid (and left a hefty tip), went home and cried!

It’s not like I’m not going home for a couple of weeks and I have time (a) to get it re-cut and dyed into a better looking shape and colour (b) for it to grow out, (c) for it all to fall out, (d) to shave my head (well, I might have time for this one, but it's a bit drastic)

Oh no, I’m off to Blighty today and I have a birthday party planned with people I haven’t seen for years.  So, no problem there then!  And I’m sure everyone will say “It’s lovely”… they are all British, after all – don’t want to make a scene or upset anyone.

If I was more assertively American, the tip would have been (a) Wear a hat when it’s raining or (b) Don’t eat yellow snow.  But I’m not, and I didn’t and that’s it. 
I shall be taking the walk of shame at my own party!