Monday, August 7, 2017

The Awkwardness of Meeting People from Home

There’s always that moment and awkward conversation when I meet someone from England.  This is how it usually goes:

Hello, how are you?
Fine thanks, and you?

……[Awkwardness]….

So, how long have you been here?
…… 2, 4, 10, 15, 20… etc years …..

          What part of England are you from?
  ….Doncaster… Rugby… Milton Keynes… Brighton…. [Pretty much anywhere in the country that I’ve either never been or is no where near anywhere I’ve ever lived.]

Oh, okay
….. [More awkwardness]  ….

What brought you here then?
[Insert any number of reasons…]


.. crickets...

  Sooo, um, how do you like the weather here????”

And there it is - the great British small talk 'go to' - the weather!!!


What makes it slightly worse is when a friend wants to introduce you to someone and says “Oh, you both sound exactly the same - you must come from the same town.”  You know, like we all live together in a big commune and everyone knows everyone, including the Queen.

This happened the other day.  I was given the "you sound exactly the same" speech and told I would meet 'her' later.

Fast forward about an hour and over he trots to my desk, all excited, and says 

          “Meet (so and so)  She sounds JUST like you!”  

Well,  I liked her immediately because when he said that, she rolled her eyes!  Oh, true English attitude.

Then, the moment she spoke, I knew straight away that we was, in fact, from “near me” and she did “speak exactly the same.”  So with baited breath, I asked where she was from and bloody hell, if she didn’t say Croydon!!  Or South Croydon to be exact.  

And to my never ending embarrassment, I actually squealed and shouted "Oh my God, I lived in Caterham!"[Which will probably mean absolutely nothing to anyone]

That broke the ice and we did actually have quite a nice chat - no tea though.  It’s just a shame I don’t remember her name, but I do know she lives in Denver. 

But getting back to that other bit…. Yes, I squealed, I FLIPPIN' SQUEALED.  Could I be more America… ugh!