Good day to ya, lassie! <– some nice Scottish chap actually said that to me today. At first I thought he was talking about the dog and I was confused, but then I realized he means lassie as in girl. Yes, in about 3 seconds my brain managed to sort out the ambiguous term “Lassie” but then I was so taken aback that I think I just said, “Oh, hello there.” I guess it’s better than, “Howdy!”
Here’s an interesting thing I’m learning about the British. Actually, there are many, so I’ll make a list.
- They really do LOVE to talk about the Royal Wedding.
- They really do LOVE to talk about Harry Potter.
- They walk on the “wrong” side of the sidewalk and stairways and will run into you if you aren’t doing the same.
- They don’t LOVE early mornings.
- They put onions in everything.
- They want to talk American politics.
them: “What do you think about that lady, Minister of State, is it? Who is always on the news? You know who I mean, right? She is the vice president, I think?”
me: “Do you mean Hillary Clinton?” [sustaining a giggle]
them: “Yes, we hear all about her here, what do you think of her?
me: [deep breath] “Uhhh…she lost the 2008 election and is now Secretary of State.”
them: “Did she get elected for Secretary of State because she lost the election? I have not heard of the Secretary of State from the U.S. until her. Is it possible she could become president if something happened to Obama?” [Seriously?! You’re seriously asking this?!]
me: [deeper breath] “No. She’s 4th in line. So it’s highly unlikely.”
and wait for it….
them: “Did you vote for her for president?”
me: [I sit and stare at them for a bit trying to decide how to answer that] “Well, I’m out of tea, I suppose it is time to get back to work. Shall we?” [No, Emily, that wasn’t awkward at all.]
Rule #1 in Emily’s book of international travel and relations: do not discuss politics. Just remember, Americans are portrayed to the rest of the world in the following ways:
- Television and movies
- foreign policy