Thursday, November 20, 2008

It's All English to Me

When I was studying in London I realized there are a number of big differences between the English and Americans. You're thinking No duh, big woop! Yeah they call bathrooms loos and elevators lifts - and I still can't get things straight when it comes to pants/knickers/trousers...They drive on the left and have no traffic pattern on sidewalks.

So why should being picked up in bars be the same there as it is here? During my Junior year in college, I decided to take a hike over the Atlantic and study abroad. I chose beautiful Goldsmith's College, part of the University of London. Its concrete campus is tucked into the ghetto of New Cross.

Immediately my newfound friends and I adopted Goldsmith's Tavern (GMT - why is was not called GT or GST, we didn't know), which was home to locals, students and some of the most curious people I've ever seen in my life.

One of our first nights venturing into the bar, past the bullet-proof vest toting bouncers, I had my first experience being picked up by a New Crosser. I was minding my own (annnnd everyone else's) business, taking pictures with friends, sitting on a bar stool and drinking Carling.

Then it hit me. Literally. A balled up napkin bounced off my back.

"How rude!" I said channeling my inner Stephanie Judith Tanner and laughing with my friends. The another hit me.

I swung around just in time for a third napkin to ricochet off my chest (that was a crowd pleaser).

I saw the culprits - two juvenile delinquents with grown out mohallets (you know, the weird mohawk-mullet thing) - giggling like little girls.

"Dude, what the hell?" Oh yes, I was a charming little blonde American girl.

Dumb and dumber motioned to open the napkin. Scrawled in 3rd grade penmanship, "Hi, I'm Jimy."

Well well well Jimy, aren't you just the spelling bee champ. I know a guy in New York I should introduce you to - your spelling and his extensive vocabulary would be a force to be reckoned with.

I got up, walked over, "So which one of you is Jimy?"

"Oy! She thinks your name is Jimy. And she's American." And she can hear you, boy genius. "She can't even read."

"Hi Jimy."

"Umm it's Jimmy, but if you want me to be Jimy, I will be. Want a pint?"


"Don't ya know how to say names?" Dumber weighed in. Another zinger.

"Yes, and I know how to read." I put the napkin in front of him.

He closed one eye, focused and burst out laughing. "Jim - ya spelled yar name wrong!"

"Yeah, but I got her to come over and talk to us! High-five."

Annnnnnd curtain.

Closing thought: If you're picking up what a dude's putting down when he hits on you, just make sure it isn't garbage, figurative or literal.


Anonymous said...

Stephanie!! Where is she now? Probably some religious zealot like Candice Cameron...

Cheese said...

Actually - she was major into meth!!! DJ Tanner would NEVER do that...

Dish This! said...

love your blog!! and omg london guys.. you could write a whole book on them I feel...One openly told me that he thinks American girls are slutty and stupid, and then was confused when I became indignant. Another made fun of American guys with their "baggy Jay-Z pants". And our British friends had all these flat irons at their,errr, flat. More hair products than us. God did I love London!! And I'm glad you had love for the McDonald's in leicester square too!!!

Anonymous said...

I read this again and realised you were in.... New Cross! Eww. Not the best area in London to be chatted up guys I'm afraid. I feel like I owe you an apology on behalf of London... sorry ;-/