I still fondly remember the first proper conversation I had with a Brit on English soil. I had not slept in over thirty-six hours and was on a Metropolitan line train from Central London to our hotel in Watford. I had dozed off and when I woke, an elderly British lady asked if she could sit beside me. Of course I said yes and she remarked that she had never seen so many American university students in London on one afternoon. We had a pleasant chat about which places I should visit, British literature, and her granddaughter who was studying creative writing at Brown. Then, she left the train and I dozed off again and woke, wondering if it was all a dream. Now that I live in London and talk to British people all of the time, I no longer document every conversation. Some, however, are too amusing not to record!
Brit: So what part of Canada are you from?
Me: Oh, I'm actually American.
Brit: *disgusted look* Oh.
Me: I was just kidding, I'm really Canadian.
The following question was asked about 200 times in November and December.
Brit: Isn't Thanksgiving a much bigger holiday than Christmas?
One time a friend of my flat mate was looking through my music on my iphone. The following ensued when he saw that I had Vampire Weekend songs.
Brit: You listen to Vampire Weekend? Why?
Me: Yes, I do and I saw them in concert with Of Monsters and Men and they were great!
Brit: They're proper awful, I only know one other person who listens to Vampire Weekend and he goes skiing all of the time.
Me: I actually do go skiing all of the time when I'm in Colorado, but I really don't see the correlation between listening to Vampire Weekend and going skiing...
(Can I go off on a tangent about why Vampire Weekend is not "proper awful?" Well, it's my blog so I'm going to anyway. First of all, they were English majors at Columbia and their songs are loaded with literary allusions (they even have a song about Oxford Commas and it is actually quite good, which is probably really hard to do). Second of all, I listened to them exclusively while warning up for 2013 collegiates so I did again during 2014 collegiates. Of course afterwards, I stopped listening to them for a while due to bad associations and when I started listening to them again, I discovered one of their older songs which has the line "your collegiate grief has left you down in sweatshirts - what a horror!" How is that for relevant song lyrics!? So lyrically, they never fail. And, now that I've successfully defended why they're not "proper awful," let's get back to the point!)
After talking about why I brought my passport with me to the beach, the following happened.
Me: Everything kept getting stolen at the hostel. Someone had her pants out overnight and they got stolen.
Brit: They stole her underwear!?
Me: Oh. No, I meant trousers.
Brit: Meet us on the first floor.
Me: *arrives at ground floor* Where are you?
Brit: First floor.
Me: Me too. *waits ten minutes later* Oh. You meant your first floor. Which is actually my second floor.
Brit: Where is your friend?
Me: He's still eating breakfast.
Brit: Oh, is he death by chocolate this morning?
Me: *blank expression*
Brit: Oh, that means is he really tired and slow moving this morning?
This happened when discussing what to wear to an event labeled with "fancy dress."
Me: I don't have that many really nice dresses with me.
Brit: What do you need a nice dress for?
Me: The fancy dress night.
Brit: Oh, fancy dress means costume.
Me: So I need a 60s costume? That's even harder to find.
The following happened outside of a pub in Iceland.
Brit: *asks me something about the Friends TV show* (I don't remember what)
Me: I've actually never seen friends.
Brit: *slowly removes his glove and slaps me across the face with glove*
Me: What was that for!?
Brit: You're American! And you're never seen friends!
(Over the next couple of days I continued to be introduced as "the girl who got slapped in the face for not watching Friends.")
After returning to the UK after every flight to mainland Europe ever.
Brit: There is such a long queue for UK and EU passports.
Me: There is no line for non-EU passports.
Brit: I like the plait in your hair.
Me: The what?
Brit: Oh, the braid.
Hi, I’m Crystal! I love to travel and am currently a graduate student in Scotland. You’ll get all the best tips and insights from my experiences as a former ice-skating coach in Iceland and former study abroad student. Of the 27 countries I have visited, a type 1 diabetes diagnosis has been the strangest land yet. Type 1 has not slowed down my travels and you'll learn how to take type 1 with you on the road! You can connect with me further on Instagram @CrystalChilcott, or send me ideas of where I should travel next via email: firstname.lastname@example.orgHappy Travels, Crystal
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