Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 337

Things I have pondered in America-land today

I awoke at 4am today. Gawd knows why – might have been the lashing rain reminding me of England…

Anyway, I wondered about the following things in America. They are neither controversial nor highbrow, neither clever nor astute. They are just things that this British wife living an American life thinks about at 4am.

1. Drivers’ licences. In the UK we call this a driving licence. And also, in America shops and wotnot they always ask for your ‘driver’s licence’ as ID. But what if I don’t drive, what then? And how come you assume that I do drive? Oh, I know why you assume I drive – it’s because there would be no other bleedin’ way of getting here unless I had set off last Tuesday on foot from my house. Because to live here, ya just gotta drive.

2. Arkansas . I still read the end bit of this state and say in my head ‘kansas’, not ‘kansaw’ like it’s supposed to be said, which is annoying. But there again, I don’t say ‘IllinioS’, so go figure.

Deep South...

Deep South…

3. Haven on the Lake. There is a new wellness centre in Columbia called ‘Haven on the Lake’, which I think sounds like some Rosamund Pilcher romance/mystery novel.

This is where the romance / murder will take place, fyi...

This is where the Haven will be

4. Drive-thru banking. Do people ever catch their wing mirrors at the drive-thru banking? What if they have very short arms and can’t quite reach the machine? Or do they just get out the car? Or perhaps they just think ‘sod it, I’m not having this malarkey’ and just go into the bank and get it all sorted that way.

5. Silverware. Why do waiting staff still call the knife and fork silverware even if it’s plastic? Yes, I like to eat in places with plastic silverware. Diners, mostly.

Plastic silverware diner

Plastic silverware diner

6.Reading books aloud. When did I start putting on an American accent for different characters when I read American children’s books to Harry? I have started doing different accents and personalities for them – The Pigeon in the Mo Willems books sounds rather like Al Pacino in Scarface and Piggie in Elephant and Piggie has a touch of the Leslie Knopes about her from Parks and Recreation.

Piggie - Leslie Knope

Piggie – Leslie Knope

That was about it, I think.
Intriguing.

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13 Responses to Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 337

  1. elkster says:

    I just don’t get drive-thru banking. I’m sure it’s convenvenient and all, but it’s weird!

  2. Josh says:

    1. If you don’t have a driver’s license then you probably have a state ID card. Most people who don’t drive or are too young have one. Some sort of ID is needed in order to purchase certain products (booze, tobacco products, films, etc). http://www.dmv.org/id-cards.php

    4. Drive thru places are really convenient, but you’re right, you do have to be careful about mirrors. It’s almost an art form to be able to get your vehicle up to the window just right, without scraping or crashing into something. The tricky thing is when the window height is different than your vehicle. I’ve been in cars that were low to the ground and had to reach up. I’ve been in trucks that sat up high off of the ground and you end up reaching down. It can be a pain.

    5. I think silverware is just an old carry over term to mean all forms of utensils. I used to work in a housewares department years ago and we always referred too it as flatware or cutlery. It irks me when plastic cutlery is called silverware. No it isn’t. It’s plastic.

    I remember when my American ears heard the term silverware in regards to footy. I had to think for a minute and then it clicked that they must mean trophies. It sounded odd to me, but I got it.

  3. Andy says:

    Blimey, you think of some weird things when you wake up in the middle of the night! ;-)

  4. Sally D says:

    Do drive thrus have brail on the buttons – how does that work? Maybe I dreamt it!!

  5. Pat and Pam says:

    Some people WALK up to the drive-thrus, so it would be logical to have braille there. But, it probably is just blindly obeying some law that says there must be braille on all machines.

  6. I still do exactly the same with Arkansas! I don’t think that will ever change in my little British head!!

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