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?


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!  

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