It’s hard for even me to comprehend how many moments in a day my brain lapses instantaneously into a heightened mode of American vigilance. It usually happens at work since unlike the rest of my London life, I am an island there. Our building has, I don’t know, over 1,000 employees and I have met 3 other Americans that work in it. So… I am not good at mathS but um, I think we’re a small percentage. And since I have yet to be able to truly differentiate between an English/Scottish/Irish/South African/Kiwi/Aussie accent, I just say they’re all British.
So these Brits- you wouldn’t believe how often they talk about Americans. Even when it has something to do with convoluted banking legislation, my ears perk up and every synapse is on alert, waiting for the subtle dig. Because they do do that sometimes, no matter how much they love our food, culture and exports. And I don’t know, it’s like I am ready to defend a nation of 300 million to the death when in fact I really only know like 100 and easily dislike another 100 I’ve met.
Yesterday I went to a lecture contrasting class action law in the U.S. with its less powerful counterpart in the UK. At one point the lawyer speaking said, “Americans are preoccupied and obsessed with lawyers and what they do. You can tell just by watching tv and movies.” Now of course I am the only American in the auditorium so what am I going to do- scream out “Julia Roberts had the best jugs in Erin Brokovich!!”? I mean, the guy is right. And I am all, so what? At least we’re not preoccupied with milky tea and who went to what boarding school. Yawn.
I spend a great deal of time saying “How do you say…?” as though it’s another language because I am constantly mispronouncing town and street names.
And of course the daily humor like when my boss needs a rubber but knows I can’t say that word (she is so nice) so I say, “here is an eraser” and she lets it slide.
And I know this post is all over the place but the most important thing I need to say is that people do not eat egg whites in this country. And I feel like maybe it’s my patriotic American duty to share the deliciousness and nutritiousness of egg whites. But while we’re on the subject, can anyone answer an important question for me: How come in American restaurants egg whites always cost a little extra? Why the surcharge on throwing the yolk away? Is it punishment for being wasteful of a fetus? Is it a tax on being thin? Are the makers of Lipitor in bed with the restaurant lobby? Do you guys need me to come back? I will totally stuff my bra and film Erin Brokovich Part II: egg yolk conspiracy.