favorite things #1-1 million

Since I wrote “favorite” with no “u”, it means I am talking for once about my favorite things from the Land of the Free, the Home of the Brave.

I don’t know what’s going on these past two months, if my pH balance is off or Europe is getting testy with the debt crisis, but I have been involved in no fewer that FOUR verbal altercations with strangers in London in the past two months and the majority ended with an insult about my nationality. While I personally find the details quite entertaining, hilarious and sometimes rage-inducing, I will spare you the full recounting until we meet in person. It is so much better when I perform it. So in summary, the altercations are as follows, in chronological order.

  1. ZSL zoo gift shop. Cantankerous old Russian woman yells at me for not saying please before I said excuse me to pass her. After we yell at each other across the store she tells me that Americans should go home. I remind her she is a foreigner too.
  2. Regent Street H&M, children’s section. Woman yells at both my MIL and myself that she “gave way” to “the pair of you” and we didn’t thank her. I tell her it’s uncivilized to insult someone while walking away.
  3. Map sign at Hyde Park Corner. Young man hurls insult at me for trying to read the map over his shoulder (while he was hogging the whole thing). I yell back that it’s not impressive for him to have a problem with me after he’s already a safe distance away. He hears my accent, appears delighted, and screams back that it’s typical that I’m American.
  4. My front door. Horrible building association head who knocks on my door to shout at me for the two strollers belonging to my friends that are in the hallway. After hearing my accent, says “in this country, it’s a fire code violation to block a stairwell.” The unexpected hilarity of his smugly asinine comment causes me to actually congratulate him for having such an advanced country to claim as his own.
So as I post this just 12 hours before leaving on an airplane bound for a long visit to the States, I have to give props to a great nation where

no one yells at me for being American.

It’s just too bad about all those blocked stairwells.

As for Hurricane Irene, Jim Gaffigan, almost my favorite Twitterer, had this to say:

During a Hurricane the @weatherchannel becomes the kid with a pool in 8th grade.

I was that 8th grader.

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9 Comments

Filed under culture clash, weather

9 responses to “favorite things #1-1 million

  1. Pleban

    Love Gaffigan on Twitter. Do tell though.. since he is “almost” your favorite Twitterer – who is at the very top of your list?

  2. erica

    we actually love you just b/c you’re american….can’t wait to see you guys soon!

  3. toshalot

    you are so witty. i could never think of those comebacks so quickly. i’d start crying.
    and yes, i imagine you were “that kid” in 8th grade because you continued to be “that kid” in 9th- 12th grades also 😉
    can’t wait to see you!

  4. yael

    Can’t wait to see you all, even though lots of flights to NYC are already cancelled. Xmas = ice storm and Heathrow debacle. Summer = Hurricane Irene. We might be meant to stay in the UK forever.

  5. sonjey

    So thrilled you are the ONLY flight making it out today…… Can’t wait!

  6. Mad25

    I don’t suppose those of us in Seattle are lucky enough to see you in the next 5.5 weeks?

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