We recently discovered “A Brit Out of Water”, a blog about ”one man’s struggle in a foreign land” and found it amusing enough to post on. The writer is a native citizen of the old country England and is now living in Brooklyn with his new American wife. This fit in perfectly for us, at a time when many of our friends are currently from London, are recently living there, or are thinking of the move. Besides learning what “Oystercard Unreadiness Syndrom” is and how great Waitrose and Waterstone are, we found out a lot more about what he likes about our country and what he misses about his. If you can get passed the “realiSes” and the “laboUrs”, you will undoubtedly be left with some great conversation starters for your next dinner with your British friends. Some of the things we took away from that Brit out of Water:
A Brit out of Water can’t believe that in America:
-only 27% of our citizens hold passports (this IS pretty embarrasing)
-If you have a S.S.# and have ever HEARD of English you can be a cab driver, where as in London you must spend 2 years studying to ensure that you have an encyclopedic understanding of the 25,000 streets within a 6 mile radius of Charing Street.
-You can get almost anything at 4 in the morning, and don't even get him started on the number of options faced when ordering his lunch salad.
-People don’t get into Football Soccer because they may complain that there are not enough goals happening, yet the national sport is Baseball where so little EVER happens.
-The subway drivers never do any witty running commentary to help pass time, but at least the cars are air conditioned.
-The little amount of Holiday Vacation time given…Europeans are “working to live” while we are “living to work” (no arguements here on the unjustness in this).
-There is a problem with the breakfast here and that is that everything comes with eggs.
-There is also a lack in tea drinkers, and waiters that know what a "white coffee" is.
-There are no € or £ keys on the keyboards (yet he bought his Mac in London for Christsakes!)
-The radio shows here are nothing like the British stations. He misses "Five Live" in particular.
-He has struggled for small talk here as he has less opportunity to complain about the weather.
-New York has some great fking bagels.
-On subways, the rule of no conversing amongst strangers remains intact, as in his homeland, however; lift elevator behaviors here are another story: "(Elevator rides) strip New Yorkers of all their inhibitions when it comes to talking to strangers." This was a particularly funny post found here in which he shares how his expertise after years of learning how to create small talk around weather comes in handy.
-Americans will never get the two-cheek-kiss thing and are generally more prudish than English...He believes this may be because we are part of a country containing the "Midwest".
-The scale of commitment to Halloween here is dumbfounding.
-The whole dry cleaning service concept is genius.
-It's really going to suck when he starts getting paid in dollars instead of pounds.
So, being in New York is seemingly growing on Brit out of Water. Though London may be "The new New York", we think we'll stick around for a bit, and check in time to time to see what our little English friend is up to.