Saturday, May 24, 2003

Picture of the Day

I myself am an American citizen. I'd say I'm quite happy with this fact. However, I hope to some day travel abroad and see the world. One of the first places on my trip wishlist is England. Some of you may hope to go to Englad some day as well, or may actually be planning on going there soon as we speak. I found this and felt as though it might help us all.

How To Be American In London Without Getting Your Head Stoved In By A Cricket Bat
by Rich Johnston

On tube escalators stand on the right, or walk down on the left. Remember this.

Look right when crossing a road. Really remember this.

Get a Travelcard pass for as long as you are staying here. Covers tube, bus and rail. You will save hours with fiddly coins that change every few months.

Get an A-Z (street map book) and a copy of this week's Time Out. These are your bibles as to what's on and where.

It's pronounced "Less-ster Square"

Taking an actual bus is twenty times cheaper than taking a the equivalent tourist sightseeing bus, and you'll get a far better commentary from a random nutter.

Traditional English food is Indian-inspired these days. Not whatever chip-related meal they try to feed you in a "quaint" pub. Try a decent Chicken Tikka Masala to understand the British temperament fully.

No, we probably don't have (insert brand name here). Get over it.

No, there are no non-smoking bars.

No, there is not waiter/waitress service in pubs. Go to the bar. You've got legs.

Don't just ask for a beer. Choose a brand. You won't know any of the brands, so try them all one by one. This is called fun.

Yes, people drink alcohol here, legal from 18, tolerated from a lot earlier. People do not seem to think it's the equivalent of cocaine.

Don't try to buy cocaine. Your accent will leave your ripped off with talcum powder.

Yes, you do have an accent. And when you speak, everyone in a block radius can hear it.

Walking is an acceptable mode of transport.

Tea is never iced.

Yes, there are black people here. And Asians, East Asians, all sorts. Quite a lot in London. And yes, they've almost all got English accents. Find it entertaining.

But you cannot do an English accent. Don't try.

Don't wear a baseball cap. If it's raining, get wet or use an umberella. If it's sunny, rejoice.

Go on the London Eye.

Go and see "Jerry Springer The Opera."

Don't go and see "The Mousetrap."

Buy "Brass Eye," "Jam," "Spaced," the "Royle Family" and "Black Books" on DVD. As long as you've got a multi-region DVD or computer.

Do Covent Garden, Camden, Notting Hill, St James Park, Richmond Park, Primrose Hill, Soho, Waterloo Bridge.

You're American, therefore you're a movie star. Exploit that. We actually like Americans. Occasionally you may be patronised, live with it.

And no one, literally no one remembers "Independence Day" as anything other than a poor sci-fi film. It's not something we're taught, it doesn't colour how we think of Americans and no one will get your references to a Boston Tea Party.

We all actually liked Clinton, and consider him to be your greatest President for a long time. Not sure about the new fellow, though.

Whoever you are, your politics will be more right wing than anyone you choose to talk to.

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