To Be Foreign

“London is a roost for every bird”–Benjamin Disraeli


“do people give you a weird look when they hear your accent?”
That was the question my Dad asked me this afternoon during our weekly Skype session.  “of course not”, I replied, “because all of their accents are more foreign than mine.”
There’s an old adage in London that goes along the lines of “everyone’s a foreigner”, and it’s true.  Almost two months into my tenure in London and I know virtually no English people.  It’s the strangest thing to me and though I know the reasons for it, I still can’t quite understand it.
I mean let’s run down the places I probably frequent most throughout the week…
the Pub?  Russian bartender.
Starbuck’s on campus? Brazilian, Ugandan, Japanese barista
Walking through Earl’s Court to get to class?  Well I typically pass through a community full of French and American expatriates.
the gym?  Another Russian girl
The point becomes redundant.  Oddly enough, now that I think of it, there is one place where I am sure to find an Englishman.  The cab drivers are all English.  Not quite the same situation as New York.
I know this post has been sort of incoherent, and I apologize for it not being my finest work.
Ah!  I do have one additional observation I would like to share with you all.  And it is in regards to the topic of midday drinking.
Generally frowned upon in the States, here in the UK it is accepted (if not encouraged).  While this fact alone may be mildly interesting, what pushes it to amazingly bizarre, is that it is fairly common for men to take their lunch break at the pub and get hammered drunk.  Then they go back to work.  And this is not just a working class phenomena.  Far from it.  In London’s financial districts (‘the City’ and Canary Wharf) and the political center of Westminster, I have often observed gentlemen in suits downing beer after beer then bemoaning the fact that they still have to go back to work for 4 more hours.  Good to know that the people running the world are capable of doing so drunk.  Perhaps it’ll slow them down a bit.

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