Rebecca and I have both been answering the “What’s Britain like?” question (to which I am on the verge of reversing – what’s America like? What’s it like to live right here, every day. Is it good?) with “Cold. Wet. Gray.”
It gets a laugh, but they don’t get it. You don’t get it unless you go. Rebecca’s ten years in the UK will never be understood by the locals; it’s barely understood by me. Her 2000s were in a different world.
Besides, does anyone here really need to know what Britain is like? A lot of them think they already know, with preconceptions ranging from “everyone living in castles” to “everyone living in castles and having bad teeth” – what entitles me to burst their bubble?
But the question doesn’t go away, and you only get one chance. While I realise that some of the time there’s as much genuine curiosity behind it as with “how’re you?”, I still I want to get it right. Continue reading