Two Things that I find Hilarious about the British

You guys. There are so many things that I laugh about here. The Brits are Funny. In ways that they can not seem to see. Here is a short list.

They Love A Sing-Song.

America might have a bit of karaoke, but they have NOTHING on the Brits. These folks love a sing-song like the sun loves the morning. Get a few of them together, and they will *sing for all of the life*!  Really these folks will sing for anything, and when they do they are hilarious. Wanna sing Happy Birthday? Fine. Wanna sing ancient pirate songs? Fine.  Wanna sing England/Wales/Scotland hymns? Yep. Would you like to sing a negro spiritual?  OH WAIT that is your national anthem for ‘football’?

“swing LOW sweet CHARIOT comin’ for to carry ME HOME!”

As an American, i can only be confused at this. That is putting it nicely. REALLY? SWEETCHAROIT? oh, just wow. Lawd.

They Do Pantomime

If you are like me, you have no idea that this is a thing at all. I had never even heard the word ‘pantomime’ before i moved to the UK. They love this stuff. I am, even 5 years in, unable to find the words to even tell folks in the US what this is.  I guess it is where b-listers dress in drag and the audience participation is a bit ‘rocky-horror’

Little StormBringer had a school assembly the other day and we were encouraged to BOO the ‘baddie’ and CHEER for the other side. It is all so insane. But fun and also funny. I might one day see a proper Panto. I might one day get Cricket as well. (not gonna happen)

The Brits are hilarious. Every day, all of the time. I love it here. I may not get everything that they do, (no, do NOT look up dogging y’all) but I get to have a chuckle once in a while at their foolishness.

Did I miss anything? What do you find funny about Brits or Americans?

How to make nice and be Friends with the British

I had an email from a reader expressing her frustration at being an American expat. I was thrilled and touched, of course, so I emailed her back. She had questions. She was also a bit confused about not having made any friends in the UK yet.

But she is from the Midwest like me, and, like me,  she Is So Friendly.

Brits, are you seeing the huge problem here?

I didn’t when I moved here. I was Super Fantastic and Friendly All Of The Time! Why didn’t they want to talk to me? Why did they seem to visibly shrink when I greeted them? Why didn’t they want a hug for Christ’s sake!

Now, clearly this girl isn’t as bad as I was. I was bad.

I would go on the dreaded school run and try and..ya know…talk to people. Introduce myself, ask them about their kids, ask about their lives, tell them about mine. This is how I had spent my entire life in the US interacting with other humans.

This is not how you interact as an American ‘Off the Boat’ and trying to make friends in the UK. Not if you want friends, that is.

Over several years of reading Expat blogs from both sides of the pond, experimenting with British-life-forms and talking to my husband and his circle of friends, I came up with the following fool-proof method of ‘cracking the ice’ in the UK.

Mind, this takes 6-8 months not minutes. (in the US it might not be even that many minutes!)

Here’s the tip:
The first six months of ‘knowing’ someone, The Weather is the only acceptable subject for you to talk about. 
Pro Tip: The Brits LURVE hearing about how awesome we (Americans) find the weather here. 
example: 
Scene: School Run/Bus Stop/Neighbours/delivery guy
“Wow, it is a bit rainy/sunny/cloudy/windy today! (smile)”
Then the brit grumbles or agrees
“sure was better/worse/same yesterday! Hope it is better/same tomorrow!” (smile)
Brit grumbles or agrees
 
 After you have known them for a bit,  add on the following;
 
“But, I  think the UK has the best weather in the world! I love it here! Really, I would never leave! “(grin)
They will then stare at you, trying to decide if an American is smart enough to be taking the piss. They might even raise an Eyebrow and say…Really?
Then you say
“yeah my mum has 3 feet of snow/tornadoes/hail/heatwave/mosquitoes/sharp shower of frogs!” (basic midwest suck-weather)
 
 
then just shrug and say, yeah, best weather in the world. (no exclamation. this is important.) (smile)
You may find that they even talk to YOU next time!
The thing is, the British ARE friendly. You won’t find better friends. They are extremely loyal, forgiving, funny and inclusive. Once you find yourself inside their bubble and under their wing, you will not be disappointed. You will feel included in ways that you never thought that you could.
Don’t give up if you are an Expat anywhere. Just keep trying, but get as much advice as you can. After 5 years here I have found my best-est friend evar and I am truly blessed.
As always, feel free to leave your experiences in the comments, or just to me. Ask me anything.  I get it, I really do.

The top ten things I miss about living in America (England bashing again)

I love the UK. I never want to leave. No, really, I am never leaving Devon. If I need a passport, then no.

BUT, there are some things that I would love to have here. My top Ten list starts with:

1. A dryer. look, my man is buying me a new washer-dryer thingy. cause he loves me. But it will still be a euro washer-dryer thingy, powered by wind and sadness. See my illustration on why USA  has better appliances. COAL and NUKES. just give me dry clothes. *sob*

2. A refrigerator. Could I please have a fridge that holds food and keeps it cold? Like, if i have food in, could it keep it cold for a day or so?  If i buy apples or meat, I would like them to stay OK for two days.

3. Ice. just ice. I have given up on ice in the UK. Ice tea would be awesome. I will never realize this dream.

4. local news. Can I have the weather for my city? Or tell me what is happening here? the BBC is great and all, but what happened today in my city? no idea.

5. sport. I am so tired of football. (soccer) Rugby is where it is at. and they put the ball backward. At least I didn’t have to live thorough March Madness. But at least, in the US, I understand the rules.

6. Police. in the US, when you call them, they come. In force. With help. Helpfulness.  I cannot overstate this.

7. school busses. Yellow, pretty busses. They pick your kids up, then drop them off. At/to your door. USA USA!

8. I am struggling here…OK, Food. massive food. when you go out for breakfast you embark on a food challenge. With 4 eggs and hash browns.

9. lack of actual fascists/communists.  you think you have them, but, i promise that you do not.

10. Patriotism. Please, can we have some of it in the UK? I miss it. I want to cheer for my side.

So, ten reasons I miss the US. I could give you as many that I would never move back, but I didn’t . Keep calm and have a well deserved seat. ❤

OK, England, you are super silly now. I humbly offer my help.

I have been home long enough to complain now. You have issues, England. I am going to help you through this difficult time.

I have written about UK weather here, here and also here, but what I have not done, is explain the basics. I shall do so now.

*deep everlasting sigh*

OK..so there is this thing called winter. In the northern hemisphere it gets cold from November through March. Occasionally, in the winter, water falls from the sky. If it is cold enough, this water might freeze on, or above the ground. This is called Ice and Snow.  It happens. Every year. In the winter. If you are from the UK, please go back and read that again because I am SURE that you don’t get this.

I understand that snow and ice in the UK is a ‘rare’ thing. In the south of the USA, snow is also rare. I understand if you are surprised and possibly stranded. This is totally fair. What is NOT fair is for the third biggest airport in the world to be closed because of a snowflake. Heathrow airport is huge and it is the only way into London, never-mind the rest of Great Britain. It is now closed .Because of a snowflake. FAIL

The BBC helpfully reported that they have 500 people on snow removal. Five HUNDRED people. Five hundred people were not enough to remove a snowflake from the main airport in the worlds best City. For shame.

(it is a wonder that JFK, La Guardia and O’Hare even operate at all. gheesh.)

*Epic sigh*

I had to walk into a store last week and return some horse burgers. Yep, you read that sentence correctly. Apparently, buying 8 hamburgers for one pound means that you have no idea what is in said ‘burgers’. As an American, I was expecting worms, lips and assholes, just like what we get in the USA in our delicious bologna and hot-dogs. NOPE. What we got was almost 30% horse. Horses. Neigh, I am not down with that. Do I look like I am French or something?

The honest reason that I had to return the horse burgers? It was not from a place of honor or of morality. Nope. It was because Manboy said..”I know you. You could keep them and feed them to the kids. But then you would get silly and be all GUESS WHAT YOU JUST ATE! BWAHAHAHA and that would be bad and then you would be sad about it and the kids would cry. Return them. ”

So yeah. Please, England, keep it to lips and assholes of animals that I normally eat.

So just to recap; snow happens, horses shouldn’t.

I love you England, stay classy.

I’m back, and I am Never Leaving the UK again. (the top seven things I hate about living in the US)

I just spent three months in America. I am here to tell you that I am never going back. Holy Crap, America! You suck even more than you did when I left! Get your shit together! Here are my top seven reasons that living in the US is awful and impossible.

GUNS

They are everywhere. All of the time. NO REALLY. I stayed in a super-posh suburb of D-town and still…everywhere. Boom, boom, crack, boom, bang! If you are not hearing gunshots you are hearing sirens. It is a mess. Even the kids have them. I had to call my children inside because…brace yourselves…one of the kids had A GUN on THE TRAMPOLINE that my kids were playing on. Read that again.

NEWS

There isn’t any. You get local news, and I kinda miss that, but actual news?  There is none. I made a joke about PSY meeting Ban Ki Moon and not one soul had any idea. “ya’ know? he is, like…in   charge    of    the UN…no? no. ok. ”  People in America are just ignorant about the world. And they don’t wanna be. They want to know. But they do not get to. It is stupid. (Pay your License fee and shut up Brits!)

SCHOOLS

My kids got to go to an American school for three months. I think they came out dumber than when they went in. NO REALLY. My kids were  at least two full grades above in everything. They delighted the teachers. My kids were horrified by the way that the students and the teachers acted. So was I. American schools=full of Assclowns. I shit you not.

POLITICS

Nah. No Sir and No Ma’am. I was in the US for the election and I am here to testify that the whole thing is level-crazy. The only way I was able to deal was to stay off facebook and hide under a box’o’wine and/or a table. You have no idea. Give me anyone from Eton to vote for and i am FINE. I am actually amazed that only a few people were killed during that mess.

TRANSPORTATION

You can go Nowhere in the US on foot. I mean this. The first month that I was there I tried to walk to the shops. I gave it up for several reasons. There are no pavements/sidewalks. You must walk on a gravel shoulder and hope to live. One of my kids was sick at school and I was powerless to go and get her because the silly mile walk was impossible. I had to wait for someone to drive me. Not just that one time but every time that i wanted to go anywhere.  (for three months)

NATIONALISM

While I am happy that my kids know all of the “Fifty Nifty United States” and the Star Spangled Banner and America the Beautiful and This Land is Our land and The Battle Hymn of the Republic and the Pledge of Allegiance…Jesus, you guys! America has taken Nationalism and ratched it the fuck up to 11. I was embarrassed several times. I am American and I grew up there and I was still embarrassed by it. WOW.

STRANGER DANGER

I used to think my mum was a bit crazy when she freaked out when my children were not in my sight or within my reach. Not anymore. In the US kids go missing all the time. Every day, and not just missing, not just runaways or parental disputes. JUST GONE. Every damn day. I am not exaggerating. America has a BIG problem with kids ‘going missing’. In the UK my kids can walk down the block with a reasonable expectation of getting home safely. Not in the US.

I am going to write about all of the things that I love about living in The States. I am going to expand on many of these topics. I still love you America! I had to get some of these things out because I am so glad to be home in the UK.

I promise not to ever leave the UK again, and I promise that I will bring the funny back to my posts soon!

Got anything to tell me about living in the US or the UK? Would you choose differently than I did? Tell me what you think.

Do you have gravy on your boobs? I am glad I live in the UK instead of the US

I know that I sometimes have a hard time adjusting to life in my new country, but it is a really super place to live. This week I have been hearing stories about how my fellow parents in the USA are getting ready for school by buying tones of specific supplies and trying to get new clothes for the fall. I do not have any of that to deal with. Here is my back-to-school shopping list:

1) pencils (optional)

2) school uniform

That is it.

Read it and weep Americans!

I must get to the gravy bit. This is only for women of a certain size. Size of boob or of body.

I need to know: Can You Eat And Not Get The Food On Your Boobs Or In Your Bra?

I mentioned in one of my earlier laundry posts that My shirts are considered clean if they do not have gravy on them. I mean this. I am unable to eat food and only hit my mouth with it. Almost every meal that I have, some of it will end up on my shirt, on one or the other boob, or IN MY ACTUAL BRA.

I found a baked bean in my bra last week. This was a refreshing treat from the crumbs. A family of ducks could feed from my bra-crumbs some days. WHY? What is wrong with me?

So hot.

Tell me that I am not alone!

In America, all I would get to do is argue. No matter what side I was on. I find this tiresome. Also, Boris Johnson is hot.

In America I would be dying of heat, but buying snow boots for the 3 feet of snow A DAY that was coming. Here? It is almost always Just Fine. 65 degrees damn-near-year-round Baby! Suck it Michigan!

In America I would be worried about my daughter who needs medicine. I do not care what you think. I get great care here in socialized-nazi-care-land.

Please tell me what you are thankful for in your country. And for the love-of-all-that-is holy…

Tell me if you  have gravy on your boobs!

Living in a Big Old City

I can not get this out of my head. Because I am. Living, and for sure in a Big Old City. History cannot escape you in the UK. 

I do not talk about what we left behind in America. Not just now. We left it all behind us. But when i hear Little Stormbringer sing “someday, I’ll be, living in a big ol’city” I know that we have made it. We are Here. I know that this is not the point of the song. But we did it, we made it, and now we are here, safe, in this big old city.

It might not be ‘big’ as you would think of an american city. But it is old. So old. Dumnonii  is an old place. You can dig three feet down in your garden and uncover a hord of Roman coins kinda old. No, i take it back, it is only two feet down that you have to dig. And then you find an old walled fortress. I am not joking.

This is very soothing. When I try to explain this feeling to my British friends they just chuckle nervously.  This attitude must come from the 3000 years that they have been trying to defend this tiny island. ok, probably 30,000 but STILL…

There is a magical part of living here, you KNOW that you are part of something bigger and better. Something old. Something wise and wonderful. Something more.

I am an American through and through, but i do not ever want to leave this big old city.