Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 628

UK vs USA: the final list!

This is a tongue-in-cheek summary over a couple of blog posts about what I love about America, or what gets my British back up, and what I think it should adopt from the UK to make it even coolio-er, or what the UK should take from Americaland to give it a bit of va-va-voom 😉

These are listed in no particular order and were just randomly plucked from mine and my husband’s collective thoughts during one roadtrip (I think it was our Southern roadtrip over Christmas!). Take no offense, be simply amused, cos this is just a jolly jape as I near the end of my expat time here with Uncle Sam.

I call this one:

Things we think that the UK should adopt / things we will miss from America

Baseball – yes, despite only going to a game a couple of times, we loved the atmosphere and that everyone’s attending and it’s every day and pretty cheap and people are really interested in it and it brings a nation together.

Tailgating – Lordy, this is fun! Hanging out with your car and a grill and beers and chatting to your mates! This would NEVER happen in the UK because the police would be on it in a heartbeat, and all the losers would be drinking cider and swearing and beating each other up. We must adopt this friendly thing, Britain! And it’s not the tailgating you know (driving up someone’s arse).



Distances – so this one is weird. Longer distances feel shorter than in the UK. Americans, and now us expats, would think nothing of driving an hour and a half for brunch or just for the day, where as in the UK that is A Weekend Away. I wish we could adopt this, but I don’t think our roads make it possible. But this won’t stop us exploring all we can.

Politics – people really care about their politics here and love their local community. I’ve met so many people who just want to be involved in making their towns better, whereas in the UK there is a lot of apathy and it’s not really seen as cool. Kudos to those Brits who do it. Here, it’s socially acceptable and I hope this might happen in the UK (I will NOT be running tho!)

Fun times in Howard County politics scene!

Fun times in Howard County politics scene!

Family meals out – people just eat out more here and that means that families are spending time together, kids are accepted in restaurants and it’s easy, less formal and more fun. Oh formal meals exist, of course, but I like the way you can rock up and just eat. In the UK, meals out are An Event.

Two winter celebrations – Thanksgiving and Christmas! They are so close together that it feels like the parties start early for the ‘holidays’. It also means you have two opportunities to see two sides of the family, like ‘Oh this year, we’re doing Thanksgiving with her lot and Christmas with mine.’ None of that awkward ‘who shall we spend time with’ nonsense. Let’s find another reason to celebrate, UK!

Halloween – oh, if only the UK could do this like the USA. Let yourselves go, Britain! Enjoy it, feel the Halloween love! Get dressed up and go talk to your neighbours! Don’t throw eggs, kids, or harass old people for money. Halloween can be a community event if we let it…..

That's me in the middle!

That’s me in the middle!

History – by George, these Americans love their history and all the kids know all sorts about it. History  for Americans is closer in time in the USA, naturally! But it seems very relevant and I don’t get that with the UK history. Maybe Britain needs to get with some its proud history (okay, SOME of our history) and make it relevant again. I don’t know, maybe I’m waffling, but American history just seems to resonate here with pride.

Drive thru banking – Love This. Period.

Drive thru liquor store – WFT? Yes, please!

Drive-thru liquor store even!

Drive-thru liquor store even!

Drive thru pharmacy – Ditto. Don’t Care How Lazy It Is.

Turning right on red – Yes, every time! UK, this would make traffic flow so much better (tho we would need to turn LEFT on red 😉 )

Family gyms – the gyms here are for all the family. There is childcare and there are kids classes. All the gyms I’ve looked at for our return offer nothing like that. Come on, we can all workout and have fun, UK!

Just like the movies – this is actually where I say that I do feel like I’m in a movie in the USA with the yellow school buses and Route 66 and seeing sites that we grew up with where movies were filmed. The UK has caught on to this with Downton Abbey and Lacock as ‘movie or TV sites’ but in the USA there is a real sense of it not just being set as a set, but that what you see really is a the real thing, the real set, the real backdrop. I would like to feel that in Englandland 🙂

Brunch – hallelujah for whoever thought to make Brunch a Thing. It’s awesome! It’s one of my favourite Sunday things.


Music in town centers – I adore this! You’re walking along, and there’s a bit of funky jazz to brighten up your day! It’s not raucous or distracting, but mood enhancing. I can see this stamping out some of that Saturday night fighting in Newcastle!

Solo cups – yey for them, red or blue (red is MORE fun!). They indicate a party and are an actual thing in your right of passage to drinking. Hoorah for them!

How are you? – I love being asked this. I’m good! Thanks for asking! How very nice! We Brits can be so cynical we don’t really want to answer, but try it – it feels great!

Cook outs – this way of eating is brillopads and we will take this back and not just have BBQs As An Event.

Hugging – oh, I how I love American hugging! I just met you and we hugged! Life is too short not to hug! It is a joyful thing! I’m hugging you now, Britain, and I know you hate it! Just learn to love it….


Kids’ politeness – now, MOST of the kids I’ve met in the USA are v v v v polite and they call me Miss Claire, and they are pretty respectful and wotnot. I don’t remember this quite so much in the UK. Kids of Britain – listen up, and be polite cos it’s super cool to be that way! (Side note – not grumpy teenagers tho!)

American salads – holy moly, these rock. They are like a nutritional feast on a plate, and if you don’t want to eat it all, take it home! I hope to see some rocking salads in the UK, and not just a bit of iceberg lettuce.

Take out boxes! – How I love these. Too much on my plate? Then I shall have it for dinner tomorrow. Take out box, please! Thanks very much. Easy peasy, job done. Think about it, Britain, it’s pretty smart!


Positivity – it doesn’t harm to be positive. It helps. If offers opportunities. It opens up a whole new world and way of thinking. It opens your mind and your heart to new, exciting things. It is rewarding for you and for others. This is probably the single greatest thing I have taken from my time in the USA. Make it happen, do it. Do it now, don’t delay. #carpediem

Thanks America, it’s been So. Much. Fun! Come now, England, is this all too much to think about? I’ll be there to help you through 😉 See you in 7 weeks!

Next up: Things about the USA that I won’t miss and things that America should adopt from the UK or just get rid of 😉

This entry was posted in American, American customs, Britain, British, British American differences, British customs, expat life, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 628

  1. ThatOtherGuy says:

    Just a thought, but why not keep Thanksgiving when you get home? It may be an American thing but the point is to be thankful for what we have and spend time with family. Sounds pretty universal to me, no?

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