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An article I wrote on the British

Daisy McLintock

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Written during the days I was an active Anglophile.


On my desk at home is a brass plaque from England that reads, "England expects that every man will do his duty," by Lord Viscount Admiral Horatio Nelson. This to me, is the epitome of the British culture. The British seem to be a self-contained sort of culture, all people putting their share into the society and working closely alongside one another to make it operate smoothly.

In order to get a good, accurate sense of the British, I had to look deep into the nooks and crannies of life to hunt for some Brits, for there were not many to be found here in America. Once found, I began exploring to find out why the Brits were here and how often they went back home to the UK to visit friends and family. Affably, I found most had immigrated to America in connection with family already living here, but traveled back home at least once a year to visit other family members and friends. Some Brits rarely go back home for visits. They are content with the life and friends they have made here.

At further exploration, I learned that the Brit's consensus towards Americans was that the Americans are impassioned towards their country and ingrained with a palatable sense of devotion. In contrast, I sought and queried Americans to find out what their inclination toward the British was. Surprisingly, or not surprisingly, the American's consensus was conservative. Yes, the Americans view the British as a conservative culture. Where did they get this conservatism, I asked myself. After a bit of poking around with British friends, I ascribed their conservatism to the fact that they had been continually invaded and threatened for the past two thousand years, the earliest invasion being by the Romans in the first century, A.D. These invasions shaped their culture, their language, and their savoir-faire. Despite this, the British, once dispelled of threats, can become the most loyal of friends.

Adapting to life in America is not as easy as one might suppose. Many adapt, but sadly, many do not. Some Brits in America state it is difficult living in another country once the excitement and honeymoon wear off. They state it is difficult because they cannot find certain foods, they miss holiday traditions, they miss television shows without commercials (yes, there are no commercials on some British stations!), they miss family and friends, and many are tired of the compliments on their accents. Being complimented at first is fun and exciting, and they are flattered, but after awhile the compliments get old and tiresome. With the invention of British Expatriate Message Boards (http://www.british-expats.com) though, they have a place to go where they can lodge their grievances, despondencies, successes, failures, and enjoy the company of other expatriates as they go through life in America.

My personal interest in Brits began in January 2001, after I joined a Titanic Message Board and got to know the British members there. Immediately struck by their impeccable manners, their sense of ease, and their confidence in communicating, Brits became a fascination. Always they displayed a respectable and courteous disposition that was impressive. To many on the board their lingo was antiquated, but I found it to be quite charming and a refreshing change.

One has to burrow down and get to know the Brits in order to appreciate their captivating demeanor. For four years I have studied Brits, and can say with confidence that the characteristic I find most tantalizing about them is their respect towards their fellow man. I find there is a mystery to them as well, unlike Americans. I have concluded Brits are elusive butterflies flying to the wind, toward any destination the wind might take them.

To be quite blunt, I must have a rather gullible sense of the world, for I never envisioned Brits as being known for eating fish and chips, wearing bowler hats, carrying umbrellas or having a dialect akin to Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins. Formally, some of the British have an apprehension for being regarded as eating fish and chips, and I would like to dispel this myth by saying I really do think it depends upon an individual's own knowledge of the British. Of the Americans I spoke to, only one mentioned fish and chips. The rest were quick to mention the chill factor associated with England. In any event, I eat fish and chips myself, and I love them!

In keeping with their tradition, Brits in America can be spotted enjoying tea time, darts, food pies, London on Draft, and watching Manchester United vs Liverpool on the big screen at scattered pubs throughout the States. Some pubs even offer Karaoke for the brave-hearted and shameless. All in all, let me just say one more thing about the chill factor in England, and that is that my skin loves that moisture!

You see, there really is nothing I do not like about the British, or Brits in America. I will gladly take them all.

© 2003–2008 All rights reserved.

I also put up some pics of my second trip to England back in 2004: http://s416.photobucket.com/albums/pp250/DaisyMcLintock/

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One of my very best friends is a Brit, now 37, and living in the USA since he was 3. He's still got that extremely sexy accent, especially prominent if he says something like "Devonshire". He's Americanized, but despite his greatest efforts, the Brit in him stands out like a midlife crisis on Viagra. haha

Geez, if only I were 20 years younger and single wink

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