Friday, July 29, 2011
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
There seems to be lots of books with advice to Americans visiting the UK, but not so many for those going the other direction on holiday, so this is intended to fill that void.
Disclaimer: you will find many blogs by expat Brits living in America, but all their advice is wrong, so take that as a warning for you to stay away from those expat sites and just read this authentic one. After all, if they were THAT intelligent, they would still be living in the UK, right?
Note: These tips are for short-term visitors. You’ll only find advice that is helpful for holiday goers and not stuff about how to get a driver’s license or register to vote.
Well, I guess that’s about all for now.
Wait. I forgot part of the post.
1. We use different money here. No Francs or whatever you use in the UK. On the bright side, our money has no value anymore, so there’s no need to worry about exchange rates.
2. We don’t speak your language.
3. Americans change lanes a lot. Watch your ass.
4. Don’t take the train. Jesus.
5. Expect to hear the words “excuse me?” a lot when you speak to us, and not because we want to get through. Not only do we not speak your language, we don’t understand it, either.
6. America is not dangerous.
7. You will love our beer.
8. Avoid eye contact with panhandlers. On second thought, try to just choose a destination other than New York. Chicago is nice. They don’t have panhandlers in Chicago. They have “street newspaper venders” in Chicago. Hint: buy one or they’ll spit on you. Kidding. Just kidding. And you can take the train in Chicago, so you’ll feel right at home. Only they call it the El. That’s because... well, you don’t need to know all that.
9. If you MUST choose to land in New York, don’t ask directions to Chicago. They won’t have a clue. Anything west of the Hudson is just blurry fiction to them. They won’t understand you anyway. And you DAMN sure won’t understand THEM.
10. The Golden Gate Bridge is not in Chicago.
11. It is unlikely you will meet President Obama during your visit. I know. Bummer.
12. If in New York, resist the temptation to talk about cricket with the person standing in line next to you. If in New York, resist the temptation to talk to the person standing in line next to you.
13. Two words: Gray Line.
14. Choice Hotels. Alamo Car Rentals.
15. Everything is farther than you thought it would be. Except in Massachusetts and like that.
Actually, I don’t know why more Brits don’t visit here. It really isn’t that bad. (Not to steal the New Jersey license plate state slogan: “Not as Bad as You’ve Heard”.) I recommend visiting in the spring or fall. Unless you are visiting Miami, then July is the best time.
If you see a cop behind you with his red lights on, don’t pull over right away, because it may not be you he wants to pull over. Take your time and be sure. A mile or so. Then stop on the shoulder, wait for him to get out and approach you, then move ahead 100 yards or so. This is a courtesy unique to America, and they will appreciate it. You may be sure. Never let them see your hands as they approach your car. Bend down sideways in your seat if possible. Then sit up straight quickly. And I hope you are lucky enough to get to play, too. It will be something for you to talk about when you get home.
If you REALLY have serious questions, I promise to answer seriously. Just ask. Otherwise I don’t know what real advice to give you. I know I wouldn’t have the foggiest idea of what to do if I visited the UK. I’ve heard you are not all that keen on guns but beyond that, I’m not sure. And you use passports and stuff, right?
Update: Contrary to the picture at the top of this post, there is no bridge to the U.S.A. I mean not from where YOU are. At least I don't think there is.
Update #2: I was
lying kidding when I told you not to go visit ex-pat blogs. They know a LOT more about America than Americans ever will.
Monday, July 25, 2011
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Friday, July 15, 2011
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Lord, grant that Marshal Wade,
May by thy mighty aid,
May he sedition hush and like a torrent rush,
Rebellious Scots to crush,
God save the King
Friday, July 1, 2011
After Queen Anne died and the Hanovers took over what had become the British throne, despite the fact that Anne had many closer blood relatives with the Stuarts than the Hanovers, the Jacobites again took up the Stuart cause. The fact that George I didn't speak English didn't help, of course. At least they say he didn't speak English. And so, shortly thereafter, the Scots again came arising.