American in England

American+In+EnglandMy officemates at Create DM recently introduced me to the above book.  Originally a pamphlet written by the United States War Department in 1942, it’s full of timeless advice and interesting facts for Americans roaming the war-torn British wilderness.  Each page reveals a new nugget of wisdom, some which is genuinely interesting, and some that serves no other purpose than to make me laugh and feel slightly embarrassed for being a loud-mouthed Yankee.  Seeing as my one-year anniversary of being an American in England is fast approaching, I wanted to take a moment to share some of my favourite quotes with you.  Enjoy!

The whole of Great Britain– that is England and Scotland and Wales together– is hardly bigger than Minnesota.  As a native Minnesotan, this kinda blew my mind.  Seriously, my brain is hurting. Minnesota?  Really? 

You will find that the British care little about size, not having the “biggest” of many things as we do.  Americans, always so humble… and subtle.

The British don’t know how to make a good cup of coffee.  You don’t know how to make a good cup of tea.  It’s an even swap. Generally speaking, this is spot on, though I will say that the English are growing their appreciation for coffee whereas I still make a crap cup of tea (just ask David) and really can’t be bothered to learn how to rectify this inadequacy.  

Another difference.  The British have phrases and colloquialisms of their own that may sound funny to you.  You can make just as many boners in their eyes.  It isn’t a good idea, for instance, to say “bloody” in mixed company in Britain– it is one of their worst swear words.  Oh, how the times have changed!  Also, boner?  What! 

In “getting along” the first important thing to remember is that the British are like the Americans in many ways– but not in all ways.  You will quickly discover differences that seem confusing and even wrong.  Like driving on the left side of the road, and having money based on an “impossible” accounting system, and drinking warm beer.  But once you get used to things like that, you will realize that they belong to England just as baseball and jazz and coca-cola belong to us.  Hahahahaahaaaa.  But yes, warm beer and driving on the left side of the road are most definitely confusing and wrong.  I mean, c’mon you guys, stop that! 

Anyway, I hope that made you smile. The entire book is an absolute gem, really.  Happy Monday!

2 thoughts on “American in England

  1. oddlyactive

    When my uncle Merc (Canadian rather than American but close enough *whistle*) was stationed here during war he was quite shocked to hear my gran saying that she ‘always got the gaslighter man to knock her up in the morning’…

    Oh, BTW – it is you lot driving on the wrong side of the road, and beer is meant to be warm… Lager’s cold ale is warm – it’s EVER so easy, really… *tsk*


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