Overheard on the fast 5:50

January 29, 2013 at 4:45 pm 4 comments

Two English women sat across from each other, discussing their shopping day in London.

The conversation turned to their mutual friend, Margaret, who moved to the US 30 some years ago.

The woman with the floral scarf said, “It’s funny the different paths you take in life. We did consider joining Margaret and John when they moved over there.”

“Did you!” exclaimed the other woman, who was wearing a fur Cossack hat.

“Oh, yes! We were very close to going through with it. In the end, we chose to stay. Imagine if we had moved to America! We wouldn’t have bought the house. Richard wouldn’t have met Clare. Graham wouldn’t have married Louise. My grandson, Oliver, wouldn’t be here! I wouldn’t have had my children at all!”

“Well, you would have,” the Cossack hat woman said. “They’d just be…different and…”

The women sat in silence for a minute or two, presumably deep in thought about parallel lives and destiny and the could’ve beens.

Then the woman in the Cossack hat finished her statement, “They’d be American!”

The other woman looked up, horrified, and clutched at her floral scarf.

“Oh, no, I can’t even imagine. It’s just too much to think about. American! Can you imagine? American!

Then they laughed and shook their heads in agreement. Thank goodness we never moved to America!

I wasn’t offended in the slightest. I just wish there had been an opportunity for me to get involved in the conversation! (I was too busy taking notes for my blog.)

Entry filed under: expat, life. Tags: , , , .

Scared sh!tless The Big Chop of 2013

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. andrea  |  January 29, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    I will never forget sitting in front of a mom and her 2 daughters on a bus in Wimbledon, heading home, and the mom was helping the daughter with some homework, and their was an American spelling of something and the mom goes ‘Oh, that is silly, that is the American spelling, that is wrong.’ And the daughter asked why it is spelled different in America and the mom said ‘I don’t really know, with their vile accent it is no surprise really’. I was sitting there shaking my head and as I got off I turned around and said ‘Have a great night!’ and the mom was sitting there with her mouth open.

    • 2. Maggie  |  January 30, 2013 at 1:30 am

      (history teacher here, total nerd that feels the need to comment, but in a fun joining the conversation “i think this is pseudo interesting” kind of way):

      it’s actually the British spelling that is “silly.” The added u’s and extra letters in British spelling of words came about before education was for the upper class only; spelling was a way to determine who was “properly educated” and who was not. Peasants who had taught themselves to read and write would often spell things “incorrectly” by sounding the words out- the aristocracy could then point and laugh and say, “oh, obviously you don’t have a real education. you don’t know how to spell!” When he came into office, Teddy Roosevelt started the movement to get rid of the odd spelling, wanting to rid our language of unnecessary letters. He was more or less responsible for popularizing the spelling of words like “color.”

      • 3. andrea  |  January 30, 2013 at 7:07 pm

        That is interesting, I had no idea! Thanks for sharing!

  • 4. Leslie  |  January 29, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    Is that really what they think of us?? In some ways, perhaps they have a point. Even I can’t believe Americans sometimes! 🙂


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