I think my friends are fed up with all of my talk about London. I have to admit, just like the culture shock I experienced when I moved to England, I have found it hard to integrate back into the US.
I arrived almost three months ago, so in reality I should be back to normal, but I spent the majority of my time waiting to go back to England, talking to my London friends, and not assimilating back into my American lifestyle.
Here are some of the English things that I do or say that seem to confuse other Americans:
- I slowly say the word “pants”, wondering if I am going to regret my decision. I still get that moment of hesitation that causes a tiny bit of anxiety, “should I try to spit out the word trousers? Or maybe jeans? Am I even talking about jeans? For heavens sake, why do you call underwear ‘pants’?!”
- I firmly believe tea cures a multitude of ailments. Bad day? Tea. Good day? Tea. Breakup? Tea. New book? Tea. Rain? Tea. Morning? Tea. Night? Bedtime tea. In love? Tea.
- Tea time is sacred. If I invite you over for tea and you don’t show, do you even love me?
- I still look the wrong way when crossing the street.
- I sometimes hesitate and then remind myself of which way I should be driving on the road by repeating “right. right. right.” whilst holding my right hand over my heart.
- I write the date day/month/ year. America – what is with the weird date order?! Get it together!
- I get impatient when people don’t stand on the right and walk on the left of escalators.
- I get mad when other people rush in the elevator before I am all the way out (this comes from the dreaded rush-hour tube fiascos).
- Today I decided I was just going to wear my “trainers”.
- A commute – whether to see friends, go to school, or work – is acceptable up to one hour.
I know I talk about London way too much. I squeeze it into every day conversations. I embarrass myself by sharing too many stories about my London friends. I talk about the quirks and the benefits of my favorite city. I still won’t take my keyboard off of UK English. What is most embarrassing though is how I have to double-check my American coins, “Is this really a quarter?! It used to seem so big!”
Whether I am asking where the “toilet” is, talking about how I need to do a “food shop”, ordering a bowl of “porridge”, thinking about going to the “high street”, expressing my frustration with the constant need I feel to stretch my legs with a long walk through the park (bringing my “brelly” so my hair doesn’t get wet) or talking about my “uni”, be patient with me America. I promise it’s not an act – unless I am calling you “bruv, lad, or mate” (those words are saved for special people) – I just miss the charming English language. I miss the banter. I miss it. A lot.