i wish england was a u.s. territory

I tried to watch the season premiere of The Bachelor on abc on my computer and was greeted with the expected:

You appear to be outside the United States or its territories. Due to international rights agreements, we only offer this video to viewers located within the United States and its territories.

I could be wrong but I am pretty sure last year I got rejected only because I wasn’t in the United States. I am glad to see the “territories” called abc out on its unPC-like behavior. Get yours, Guam!

So anyway, it’s times like these when I wish England could be a territory too. Then I could watch my tv shows legally, digestive biscuits would be called graham crackers, and Target would miraculously appear.

The New York Times ran a book excerpt column New Year’s Eve day titled “My American Friends” under the column name Letters from London. You can imagine my trepidation at reading what Geoff Dyer had to say. Instead the article shocked and awed me, calling Americans “friendly”, “polite” and “charming”! The cherry on top? Finally an explanation I like of why we speak so loudly, and why British people mumble (I’m sorry, but some really do.). Check it here.

I didn’t even realize that it is a uniquely American thing to address a serviceperson as “sir” or “ma’am”. What else would you say? And to think all along I thought the British trumped us with their fork and knife eating of french fries. Brutes.

…..

It’s sort of, oh I don’t know, sad (for lack of a better word) how wise Americans here get to the inefficiencies that abound. This week was apparently “the longest cold snap in thirty years.” To put this in perspective for my American friends in wintry climes, what the BBC means is you have to wear a coat. So off I go on my merry way wearing a coat and yet, and this is where I kid you not, many other segments of the population and large operating systems are unable to cope. Just three true-life examples we observed yesterday:

  • The cafe at my department store was closed due to “much of the staff having to leave early because of weather conditions and cold.” (The weather condition being you have to wear a coat. If I may repeat.)
  • Gymboree announced on Wednesday that it would be closed on Friday due to “weather conditions and poor heating in the room.” Gymboree is inside a mall. And somehow they could see into the future.
  • Some people do not go to work. It’s possible they don’t own a coat. And it’s wrong to discriminate against people who don’t own coats. You get 25 days of holiday, 8 bank holidays, 12 sick days and 4 too-cold-to-not-wear-a-coat-but-no-coat-can-be-procured days.

When England becomes a U.S. territory I hope that we can have one really big coat drive.

Dad, Happy Birthday. You are my favorite Bill Bryson-loving Anglophile.

Advertisements

8 Comments

Filed under culture clash, family, london, tv, weather

8 responses to “i wish england was a u.s. territory

  1. This post is absolutely brilliant and so true. The fact that culturally it’s somehow acceptable to just not work because it’s cold, or hot, or August, it’s just something I will never understand about England. All the little hand-written signs that say this store is not open or this event is not happening on the flimsiest of grounds. Clearly there are no consequences for not owning a coat or not showing up for work when there is a dusting of snow, and so everyone just takes advantage somehow, and it becomes a big game of “how much snow does it take to make me not show up and not get fired!”

  2. yael

    Your comment made me lol. It’s all so true.

  3. snosh

    “my” department store?
    sweet.

  4. Nancy

    Hi Yael,

    I’ve been watching episodes of this season of “The Bachelor” on Youtube. I’m unable to watch it on Monday nights when it’s usually on. You could try checking out Youtube. =)

    Take care,
    Nancy

  5. Nancy

    Hi Yael,

    Try typing “francescaarchie” in the search box. And then clicking on that name. It should lead you to her channel with all her videos uploaded. I know she’s got the full first episode up and pretty much all of the second.

    Take care,
    Nancy

  6. > The fact that culturally it’s somehow acceptable to just not work because it’s cold, or hot, or August, it’s just something I will never understand about England. All the little hand-written signs that say this store is not open or this event is not happening on the flimsiest of grounds.

    What evidence do you have for this?

  7. Pingback: adverse weather conditions | the part where we move to london

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s