Interactive Cultural Exchange WeekLadies & Gents,
I thought after the last diary entry turned into another epic, that I’d leave it a couple of weeks till I updated you on my progress. So here I am once again, and this week we’re going to be learning about….THE USA!
Yes this week we’re going to learn about; how the yanks have totally b*stardized the english dictionary and changed nearly every word word possible in it, some of the differences in culture and those oh so stupid questions that I get asked about England every single day!
The reason for this? Well I thought I’d treat the american family i’m staying with to a good old english meal, so I cooked them a sunday roast, with beef, veg and the crowning glory, YORKSHIRE PUDDINGS! I also cooked them pancakes for their breakfast (english pancakes are different to american pancakes) and the result….success! They loved them, absolutely loved them! I’m proud to say a little bit of my cultured self has begun to rub off on this american family, and in return I believe I should relay some of the things I have learnt about american culture to the three people who still read my diary.
And because this entrys in list form, it shouldn’t be such a strain on the eyes! Enjoy….
Clites – Footy boots to you and me
Cookies – Any type of biscuit
Biscuit – A bit like a scone (served usually at KFC)
Soccer – Footy
Football – American football (you dont know how many arguments I’ve had wi kids bout this)
Gas – Petrol
Sneakers – Trainers
Footpath – The sort of footpath you’d find in the yorkshire dales.
Sidewalk – The sort of footpath you’d find anywhere else in england (However a lot of these footpaths are actually part of the roads, with just a line to seperate one from the other)
J – Walking – Walking on the road (which is illegal)
Tackle – This means a number of things, however the one thing it doesn’t mean is attempting to get the ball of an opponent.
Steal – a tackle to you and me.
Ale – Beer/Bitter
Beer – Lager
Liqour – Spirits
Muffins – Buns (as in a small cake)
Cell Phone – Mobile Phone
Pitch – a throw (they never ever ever understand what I mean when i say spread out on the pitch)
Field – the footy pitch.
Tip – (coming from yorkshire this one is extremely relevant to us) When someone asks me for a tip, I say never wear zip up jeans when going commando! However over here you tip everyone for anything (and its usually at least 10%), waitresses get tipped, people who fill up you car get tipped, I’ve even seen people who work in McDonalds get tipped! I tell thee, as a tight fisted yorkshire man its hard to adjust to this sort of lifestyle.
Frickin – Its a nice way of sayin f**king, and its very annoying! When someone says it, you know their intent, so why dont they just say the f word instead? They also say:
darn – damn (which is considered very bad)
heck – hell
crumbs – crap
gee’s – jesus
They have a ‘nicer’ word for every curse word over here, and you just can’t release the stress of being annoyed or frustrated, like using a good old swear word, it really defeats the object!
Chips – crisps
French Fries (or freedom fries as they called them when France refused to go to war in Iraq as they wanted nothing to do with anything French) – Chips
Shag – This is actually a dance in some parts of the USA, other parts refer to shag differently, but nobody over here refers to a shag as we back in England do!
Good job – very annoying phrase that means well done, and is used for everything (resulting in me hearing it around 100 times during one soccer match)
In Britain, where we cant go a night without watching something american, wether it be friends, sex and the city or one of the hundreds of big films Hollywood produces every year. So most Brits have some understanding of what life is like over in America. Unfortunately for the Americans, they do not recieve or have access to many British programsat all. This results in the Americans having very little knowledge of life back in blitey!
So…here are some of the extremely stupid questions I have been asked while over here:
“Do you have cows in England” asked at a local superkarket when purchasing steak.
“Are there lots of castles in England” backing up the fact that the only films set in Britain that Americans have seen are Braveheart and the Monty Python film with the knights in(I forget the name) .
“Do you know….(add any random name here)” Yes, england is extremely small compared to the US, some states alone are bigger than our whole country! But its still a country, god darn it! And we still have sixty million people living in our very small nation! So why is it that I have been asked on several occasions if I know some one who moved to England a few years ago, even after I’ve told them I live no where near where this person moved to!
“Do you know …..(add any British celebrity here)” It gets so extreme, some people even ask me if I know the Queen or David Beckham!
“Didn’t Brazil sell Ronaldo?” no, this was not from a basketball loving 11 year old kid, this was from a grown man, who apparently coaches one of the soccer teams….and now you know what levels of footballing knowledge I’m dealing with!
Heres a few quick others:
“Do you have computers in England”
“Do you get The Simpsons in England”
“Do you have snow in england”
“Do you have McDonalds in England”
The weather – obviously the weather tends to get a little hotter here in summer, and in some places it gets extremely cold in the winter. However, in the fine state of connecticut the weather is a little stranger and very tempremental. Theres a sayin in connecticut, ‘If you dont like the weather, wait a minute’, this is because the weather literally changes every minute. Take yesterday for example, it was 80 degrees during the day then at nite we had a thunderstorm and now its 80 degrees again.
Everythings weighed in pounds – not just meat like in a market, but whole people as well (and considering the size of some ppl in the US, thats a lot of pounds!)
Everyone is obsessed with muscle! – Literally 60% of all men aged 18-24 go to the gym religiously, they all do extremely hard work outs and take protein supplements and they all look like brick poop houses. Granted even back at home I feel a little bit small compared to most people my age, but over here its ridiculous, everyone is absolutely huge (of course the other 40% aren extreme opposite…they are absolutely huge too, but not because they go to the gym everyday).
You can drive at 16 yet you can’t drink till your 21 – Combined, these two can be very dangerous, but seperately, which do you think is likely to cause more deaths?? Do drinks cost more for 18 year olds back home because there in more danger if they drink??? Or do they put insurance up on cars for 18 yr olds because over half of all new drivers end up having a major crash or writing there car off in less than a year of passing their test? Yes young people have a tendancy to drink themselves into a coma on a weekly basis simply because they can, but the majority of the time this results in a bad hangover or a phone call in to work. But I think you’ll find more people die young from driving than they do from drinking.
All the houses are made from wood
Theres a major sport (baseball, basketball etc) on tv every nite
I’m actually classed as a good football over here
An 11yr old can get (and has been) sued for downloading music on the internet
Drive on the right side of road
People actually wana be referee’s over here
The majority of people over here and very religious
They love the royal family over here
We have corner shops, they have 7-11’s (and there exactly the same as your local off license!)
McDonalds – We get served by chinese exchange students, they get mexicans…neither can speak english very well
We speak the same language (sort of)
We both have megalomaniacs as heads of state (see how i can use big posh words to sound inteligent and well educated)
Posh spice is best known over here for her husband not her lack of ability to sing
Simon Cowell is a nationally recognised figure for insulting people
Nobody supports Bradford City over here either
The majority of americans hate the french too!
Americans dont always get a fair deal when it comes to sterotypes, I’m going to attempt to straighten out a few of these…
Not ALL americans are fat
Not EVERY american owns a gun (except in texas)
Not every american has a swimming pool in their back garden, 3 cars a big house, a PS2 a 40″ TV and cable, a lot of americans live in poverty, I’ve just been fortunate enough to be put in a house that has all these things.
Not ALL americans are stupid
Not every american thinks the USA are a superior race
Well thats all for this week folks, I think it was a tad easier to read this week. Hope you all feel a little more cultured and educated in the ways of american life.
I’ll speak to you soon!