Amarikens (Part 2)

Part 1.

I have befriended an American. In fact, I have befriended two, both through the immaculate place that is my place of work, and these newly formed friendships have been great fun so far – the little differences between the countries forming the majority of the topics of conversation between myself at the two persons (one of which has her own blog, which you can read by clicking over there -> and she now owes me a tenner for advertising. The reason that this has been so amusing is that we are remarkably different in culture considering that we both come from the same place, this island, and that there hasn’t been that long a period since we were once betrothed in a unholy marriage.

That particular agreement didn’t end well – indeed, they still celebrate it to this day in lavish fireworks laden ceremonies. I wonder why we don’t celebrate the “Offloading Day” over here… in anycase, it is surprising to note that the difference go further than the accent and the way that we live.

It is noticed by myself that the new recruits to the Kingdom are very friendly – overtly so, so much so that in England they might be out of place. I have noticed a tendency to over talk to staff members in shops, which might frighten most of the people on the otherside of the counter. I remember being surprised when idle chit-chat was started out of the blue by a customer when I worked in retail, forgetting that not everyone was a business like as I am when it comes to transactions of a monetary nature.

Indeed, other differences are apparent too – when one of the new peeps started he had just came over from Houston, where they had been hit by Hurricane Ike. Yeah, it was not as bad as Katrina, and didn’t happen to millions of poverty stricken black people, so the devastation was not reported as wildly. Also, the American government, wary of an Epic Fail again, went all out (similar to the previous weeks evacuation of New Orleans, a flexing of muscle to prove that, yeah, we can do it, but we fucked up last time). He was remarkably calm, telling stories of the people who didn’t leave their houses and were no longer there – their houses gone and destroyed.

I remember a couple of months ago we had “floods” that were “devastating”. If I remember correctly, 3 people died in total, and the “devastation” was centred on property that, on the face of it, was still standing. I mean, come on Britain! We wouldn’t know how to survive a hurricane (indeed, this is where I point out that us to have a “hurricane” is impossible, being located specifically in the tropical climes of the Gulf of Mexico, not the Atlantic Ocean to the west of Scotland and the wonderful England.

Other differences, such as the way we speak gave me another question that I don’t know how to answer. Why do they have a different accent? Also, why do Australians have a different accent? Boht countries are less than 300 years old in their present state, our emigration and convicts being shipped over in their thousands being British to start with. This is something I was wondering – maybe our accents have changed too? I can’t think that 300 years ago I would’ve been speaking in the same style that I am right now – speech and writing has changed dramatically, so maybe accents have too? Maybe we all have changed drastically… though I also note these regional accents are different, and that might be another door.

There are other things that are the same by name, like McDonalds or Subway. The burgers are smaller over here but of better quality beef, which is not surprising. The Big Mac is also quite different – whether or not it is massively different I can’t remember (I had my first Big Mac in Florida if memory serves me correct). I suppose that is to be expected, the proliferation of American stores over here limited to food. We pride our selves on the Morrisons and Tesco’s of the Kingdom (the less said about Walmart owned Asda the better).

"Here in America we are descended in blood and in spirit from revolutionists and rebels - men and women who dare to dissent from accepted doctrine. As their heirs, may we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion." Dwight David Eisenhower