Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 357

Opinions divided on Baltimore

Ah, Baltimore. You are a conundrum.

Some parts of Baltimore are rough: fact.
Some parts are lush: fact.

I, for one, would not saunter through some of the areas of Baltimore in my Daisy Dukes whistling ‘It’s a Long Way to Tipperary’ and swinging my Mulberry about, that’s for sure. However, other areas are just joyous and cultural and interesting and up-and-coming. We like these bits.

Opinion divided

Opinion divided

Opinion is divided by locals of Baltimore and some recent commentary on the troubled city has been fascinating to read, particularly in sequence of them being published.

Read: Baltimore: You’re Breaking My Heart

Then read: Baltimore: You’re Not Breaking My Heart

Finally, read: Whose Heart is Baltimore Really Breaking?

The Huffington Post recently rated Baltimore as number 2 in a list of the cities in the country that are most afflicted with crime. Thee report takes into account everything from differences in police reporting standards, urban borders and demographics.

‘2. Baltimore, Maryland
Baltimore is doing what it can to improve its crime problem, but it’s got a long way to go. There were still 223 homicides in 2010, down from 282 a few years prior; however, there were also 722 reports of violent crime per 100,00 residents, 68 percent higher than the national average.’



Harry sometimes gets a little perturbed by the pronunciations of words by his American friends.

Just the other day he sighed: ‘The Americans at school have this thing called ‘yo-git’ and it looks just the same as yoghurt….that’s weird.’

So many more we say differently

So many more we say differently

I get kind of excitable when I hear a different pronunciation. When my friend said he was ‘trying to grow ‘erbs’ last week I squealed: ‘You said ‘erbs, you said ‘erbs!’ He looked confused. ‘We say herbs,’ I explained. ‘But you said ‘erbs just like Mia Farrow in Rosemary’s Baby!’

My love/hate relationship with USA dentists

Oh, I open my gob with slight fear and trepidation in the dentist’s chair in the USA – still.

I know what to expect with the conversation, despite that fact that I have good teeth (for a Brit).

‘Do you not have regular check ups in the UK?’
‘Ummmm, no, not really…kind of twice a year.’
‘Oh gosh. We are quite dedicated to our teeth here.’
‘Yes, it must be big business….I’ve seen your car.’

I feel like I have to explain and apologise and waffle on about the NHS and drinking tea, and how we once ate limes on ships, and scurvy and pirates. And all this is actually quite hard to say when someone is clawing around in your mouth for an hour.

The British teeth stereotype, by Austin Powers

The British teeth stereotype, by Austin Powers

The thing is, I think U.S. dentists are ace, and they do a cracking job, but, cor blimey, it’s hard to have a British set of teeth over here!

Knocked me for six

I told my American friend yesterday that I had got over my bug (sob, sob, been terribly poorly, that I have) and that it had quite literally ‘knocked me for six.’

He did not know what I meant, and my other half explained.

‘She was completely knackered – sort of knocked out by it. Ummmm, anyway, that phrase comes from cricket….it’s the highest scoring point where the ball exits the circle without leaving the ground..’

Bet that ball knocked them for six

Bet that ball knocked them for six

Sounds weird when you try to explain it, doesn’t it?!

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6 Responses to Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 357

  1. I can recommend a dentist that does not have an expensive car! Hey that’s an idea for a blog, does an expensive car = wealth?

    • Christian says:

      I can answer this as an American who has met many people from Western Europe and had a neighbor from England…In the U.S., at least in California from where I’m from, you CANNOT tell who is rich, poor or middle-class by the car they drive, the clothes they wear, the way they speak or their dialect, their educational background, the way they walk or act in public, and even many times the house they live in…The only way you can tell for sure who is poor, rich, or middle-class is by knowing how much cash they have in their bank accounts which you will not be able to know unless you ask them, which would be considered innaproptiate…The only way you can find out how much a person makes is after you get to know them and if the subject of their job were to come up, you can ask how much their job pays a year…Although the U.S. suffers from large gaps between poor and rich, the U.S. lacks a class-consciousness and the lines between poor, rich and middle-class are blurred socially and culturally but not monetarily, of course…It’s not surprising to see a Ford pick-up truck in front of a sprawling mansion in a gated community in the U.S. or a crappy 2001 Honda Civic sitting in the driveway of a nice villa on a beach-front property in Newport Beach, California and nobody judges or thinks twice about it because nobody cares…

      If you watch the following youtube video, you will notice what the many middle-class and upper-class neighorboods and homes in southern California look like and you will immediately notice that there is no difference in the types of cars they drive:

      You can see these people living in these millionaire homes could easily afford Land Rovers, Audis, BMWs, Ferraris and so forth yet they humbly choose old Hondas, Toyotas, Chevys, Fords and so forth just like the middle-class people in the beginning of the video…

  2. Andy says:

    I have dentist appointment on Monday. Wish me luck because I hate going and have a real phobia about them. 😦

  3. Christian says:

    To be fair, you can’t have 250 years of slavery and oppression and expect African Americans to have the same standard of living, income, poverty, graduation and crime rates as the rest of the nation just 50 years after the height of the Civil Right’s Movement…If they did have the same standard of living as the rest of the country, there wouldn’t be this large gap between poor and rich in the U.S. everyone keeps on talking about yet no one does anything about…no one is addressing the issue! The issue isn’t the gap between poor and rich…it’s the gap between black and white! It’s a national tragedy that this situation has been tolerated for this long yet no one is discussing or doing anything about it on a national scale because it is politically incorrect, taboo and seen as racist for being mentioned…absolutely ridiculous and sad…and I’m not even white or black…

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