I’ve become patriotic.
Yeah I know. That sentence alone has me reaching for a bottle of jiggling pills, but it’s the truth and I don’t know why.
(Or do I?)
I realise that this is the second post on here to discuss British culture, but you know what, fuck it, this is our blog and I am English and I’m proud so I shall continue, thank you very much.
Anywhoo, there it is.
I left England for many reasons. Adventure. To find myself. Simply just to get out of Dodge – but partly also to get away from the things about England that make me want to shoot myself in the face, such as Chav Culture, Victoria Beckham, rising housing prices and the Richard & Judy Bookclub.
(The R&J Bookclub for any non-Brits reading is the UK version of Oprah’s book recommendations, but more shit.)
I came here thinking (naively) that everything would be pretty much the same but different, that Canadians are nice people and that it would be exactly like England but cooler.
Canadians are cool people, don’t get me wrong. I fucking love my Canadian friends (of which I have many and am blessed to have), this post isn’t about that. It’s about what I have become since I arrived and what home represents to me.
It’s hard to describe what it feels like to be this far from home as it is, without getting all deep about all our differences.
But I shall try.
Every day somebody somewhere reminds me that I’m different. Mostly I fucking love it.
Apparently the British accent can get you through many doors, especially if you tag the phrase “terribly sorry” onto the front of it, as in “I am terribly sorry (smile), I forgot my keys and I really need access to this building, would you mind?”, to which they reply “Of course, dear – I recognise you anyway.”
(This happened on a recent mercy mission, but is another story.)
I get away with merry murder every day, I realise this and I am making the most of it. This is not to say that I believe I am better than anybody else (a common myth about the English), I am fully aware what a dufus I am but why not make the most of the stereotype?
And it doesn’t mean I don’t get my fair share of abuse too. Why just the other day I received a mouthful from a bum in the Macdonald’s queue:
“Ay ay, I’m one of the fooking Beatles, I’m from Liverpool me…”
(No reaction from me, since it was not directed directly to me, but sort of in the cowardly, talking-loud under one’s breath way.)
(Spot on by the way – I am totally Scouser, being from the SOUTH of England – but surely, mere bagatelle?)
When I didn’t bat an eyelid (like I said, used to abuse), he starts up with:
“Throw another shrimp on the barbie, fooking Aussie!” and sneers at me threateningly, whilst stomping away.
(Clearly having decided that if I’m not Scouser, the only possible other thing I can be is Australian. Spot on, mate – well done.)
Lightle tells me to let it go and in theory, the girl is not wrong but you know something, I can let being shouted at for absolutely no reason go, no sweat. But if you are going to throw down the gauntlet and attack me for something, get your facts straight.
Abuse me for being a stuck up Southern boofty, by all means. But do I look AUSTRALIAN, for fuck’s sake?
Anyway, this is going off point (so unlike me), what I wanted to illustrate is how English I suddenly am. How I like to ‘educate’ people on how to make a proper ‘cuppa’, how I wax lyrical on how wonderful the music scene is, how great our comedy is – I never appreciated this stuff before and now it almost defines who I am.
For the record it isn’t who I am, I am me but I just happen to be English. I’m proud of where I grew up, love England, love the English – but I’m not in Kansas anymore, Toto – and I have to start treating this as home.
Anyway, must dash, ta very much for reading, toodlepip one and all!