Lost in Translation

After two weeks and three days in the U S of A, I feel I have a fairly good grip on what makes these guys tick. If I had a dollar for every time I’d heard ‘you should just marry an American and come live here’, I’d have about 12 dollars.

It got me thinking, even with someone from my own fair soil, there are bound to be cultural differences that make everyday life that little bit more complicated. What if that significant other grew up on a whole different continent?

On a particularly humid bus trip from LA to San Francisco, I had the seven hours necessary to compile a comprehensive list of my main concerns as to how shacking up with one of our American cousins might prove tricky. And you’ve already read this far, so I don’t see you giving up now.

Distance/lack of Marmite, Jaffa Cakes and Lucozade

Good old Blighty is a very long way away and with it is everything I love. Apart from the obvious family and friends, there is of course: An ulcer inducing amount of Marmite, the category defying Jaffa Cake and have you ever tried to be hungover without a Lucozade? It’s a fucking nightmare.

Parenting debates

What if we have a baby boy? There’s the whole circumcision thing. According to a quick Google about 70% of American chaps are flying without a scarf. Brrrr. They’ll insist it’s more hygienic and I’ll argue it’s barbaric and before you know it this rogue foreskin will creep up out of our babies ‘diaper’, wrap itself round the little tykes neck and strangle him to death. We’ll both be standing there, over the ‘crib’ and my husband will be all ‘I told you so’…and I fucking hate being proved wrong.

Unrelenting cheer

These dudes are raised on Dr. Phil and a distinct lack of cynicism. It must be the unrelenting glorious Californian sunshine, or the crisp snow of the Colorado rockies. Or maybe it’s the endless opportunity and lack of foreskins weighing them down?

Language barriers

You wouldn’t think that two (technically) English speakers would have a hard time understanding each other.  Alas, I’ve had a few clangers, including offering to ‘stroke’ rather than ‘pet’ someone’s dog. Which apparently makes you me a canine sexual offender at worst and a maniac at best.

A more notable muddle occurred with a guy I got on with really well in LA and had been chatting to on said seven hour bus journey. Let’s call him ‘Clive’:

Clive: Hey! How’s your day going?

Me: This is a 7 hour bus journey and I have 9% iPhone battery. Talk about blowing my beans.

Clive: Well I’d probably start with a kiss…then work my way down…

Me: Are you trying to talk dirty to me?

Clive: I thought that’s what you meant by ‘talk about blowing my beans’?

Me: I think we’ve crossed wires here.

Clive: Really? So what does it mean?

Me: I meant like ‘blowing my load’ because I’d used all my battery. What kind of weirdo do you think I am that I call any sort of sex act blowing my beans?

Clive: I just assume everything you say that I don’t know is some kind of English slang for sex.

See? Poor Clive.

 

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