Thursday, May 25, 2006

Great Britain - the only country that needs an adjective before its name

Ah the motherland, the UK, Great Britain, Britannia, England - what a special place. After my fifth day of consecutive rain, I feel that maybe 200 years ago the decison makers in the UK should have made the smarter decision by saying to the convicts back north: “All right, we’re packing up and leaving, and heading down south for awhile for some sun. The hot water bottles are in the top draw and we’ll be back in 200 years to kick your arses in cricket!”

But been here a month now, and one might be saying I’m living the dream. Or with the weather as it is, living the wet dream. It’s days like the past ones that I remember the saying: The sun never sets on the British Empire. Now that I’m here I realise the sun never actually rises on the British Empire.

Another little thing I’ve picked up is that the English don’t really speak the language, more like chew on the words and regurgitate them in speech. One of my room mates Dean said to me yesterday: “You speak alright English for an Aus, in’t?” I replied: “Well you seem to be learning it alright yourself – by the way, it’s ‘isn’t it’ not 'in’t' dipshit (not really, I made that last bit up to sound tough)”.

Many things remind me that no matter how wordly travelled you are, there are many more things to see in a truly global city. For example, walking through Covent Garden the other day I saw a bum using a fancy little plastic cup to drink his water from. I commented to my English flat mate (not the previous one): “Well he’s a bit fancy”. Before Darryl pointed out those were the cups given out by the clinic to take methadone with.

By far the strangest thing I’ve encountered are the names of pubs. In no particular order, here are my top ten:

1. The Frog and forget me not
2. The Slug and Lettuce
3. The Lady and the Seal
4. The Fox and Fence
5. The Tiger and Tennis (I shit you not)
6. The Cricket and Wasp
7. The English Gentleman (I just thought the oxymoron was funny)
8. The British Bird of Prey (why didn’t they just call it the Margaret Thatcher)
9. The Tower and Dungeon (one story building mind you)
10. The Duck and Hill

Love you all, or as I should say in the 'Queen's English': "yours top the lot o ya, in't my son!"

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