February 12th, 2012

me: ooh!

(Un)belonging

Last night, I went to a pub and had drinks with more Americans than I've seen at once - without being in the States - in a very long time.

I met a couple who were visiting the UK for a week. This was their last night in London before they flew home. I got to chatting with one of them and she said something about Budweiser being the redneck beer in America.

"I thought that was Pabst Blue Ribbon," I said.

"Oh no, that's something else," she replied. "You see, it's either Budweiser or Miller that gets served at American football games. They're not very nice. Not like your beer."

"Right," I said, warily, as it hit me that maybe she thought I was British. The pub was busy and we were having to shout, so I thought it was a mistake I could easily correct later.

Later, we went to the bar together. I offered to get the round and ordered our drinks. I figured that now that she'd heard me speak clearly, she would work out that I was not British.

Nope. She began explaining the rules of American football to me. "It's not like your football," she said, "because it's mostly played with your hands." I stared at her as she carried on blithely.

Still later, as the alcohol consumption level and voice volume increased, she leaned over and said, "Sorry if we're embarrassing you because we're so loud. You can blame it on us being American."

I have never felt so alienated from my own people in my life.