I’ve always felt like I belonged somewhere else in the world. Americans are known to be loud, brash, and patriotic. I’m quiet, reserved, and my house would never be donned with a US flag.
However, there is one place in particular that I’ve always put on a pedestal. If I could choose anywhere in the world to live, I’d go to this place in a heartbeat. Oddly enough, it’s a place I’ve never even been to. (Some may wonder how’s that even possible?)
That place in particular? England.
I don’t know when, why, or how the fascination even happened. I suppose it’s pretty easy to romanticize a place I’ve never been to. When I think about England, my mind highlights all of the wonderful stereotypes: the royal family, afternoon tea, and even those iconic red telephone booths. (According to Daniel, those famous telephone booths don’t really exist. He says they’ve all been shipped out to tacky English “pubs” in the States.)
Maybe it’s the cynicism and dry humor the English have mastered so well. (Or should I type humour?) Perhaps it’s the cold, gloomy weather. (I’ve never been one to enjoy a day at the beach.) It’s also possible that it’s their reputation of being aloof. (Small talk has never been my forte.) It could be the rolling hills in the countryside that’s filled with fluffy, white sheep. Or it’s the dark, rustic pubs with names like The Moon Under Water and The Rose and Thistle where the middle-class go to brood over a pint of cider. Whatever the reasoning, I am pretty certain when Daniel came along in my life it really ignited my fascination with the country.
I later learned that there was a word for my fascination with England–anglophile. According to , an anglophile is someone (more often than not American) who holds an extremely romanticized view of England and the English.
American? Check. Frequently idealizes England? Check. According to the generic definition on Urban Dictionary, I’m definitely an anglophile. But I’ve decided to come up with some specific examples that also could suggest I’m an anglophile.
- I’ve started to watch British television (by choice). Daniel has introduced me to some pretty great shows, albeit mostly in the game show category, but entertaining nonetheless. Most recent guilty pleasure: Come Dine with Me.
- I also look forward to having a cuppa in the afternoon. For my American friends, a cuppa is a hot drink, usually tea. I hope one day I will get to experience afternoon tea in England. Swoon.
- Three words: Full English breakfast. I really like how the English do their breakfast. Granted I’ve never had a true full English breakfast, but I can guarantee this is far better than Denny’s Grand Slam breakfast. Who would’ve thought beans belonged with eggs and toast in the morning? (Unsure about the black pudding though.)
- After being with Daniel for a while, his English vocabulary has rubbed off on to me. I’m even starting to use it in my everyday conversations: boot (trunk), chuffed (pleased), holiday (vacation), jam (jelly), biscuit (cookie).
- As an American, I realize how I’ve been deprived of good chocolate. Cadbury, especially the Crunchie (a chocolate bar with honeycomb in the center), is far superior to Hershey’s.
- I am a strong believer in queuing (except if it involves standing outside a store for Black Friday) and apologizing often.
- I was once served the wrong dish at a restaurant. Instead of being confrontational with the server, I ate what I was given. Daniel later told me, which I found to be a compliment, “You’d be the perfect British woman.”
I suppose the only true way to test my love for England is to actually visit, and see if it lives up to my high expectations. I’m sure it will. But if I can’t go to England just yet, New Zealand seems just as great (so far). After all, it’s a member of the Commonwealth (the Queen is even on the money), Cadbury chocolate is everywhere, and there are plenty of white, fluffy sheep to admire.
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