Jamaican me too hot

During a recent work trip to Jamaica, I was faced with an issue I’ve struggled with in the USA, but in reverse.

Allow me to explain….

In the US, temperature is measured in Fahrenheit, whereas in the UK (and the rest of the known world) it’s measured in Celsius. This has been a pain in the arse [ass] over the last 4 years trying to manually figure out the temperature by removing 30 and then halving it.

No, really!

For example, if the temperature is 100 degrees Fahrenheit, I deduct 30 (making it 70 degrees), then I halve it, leaving me with 35(ish) degrees Celsius.

It’s not an exact science, but it gives me something to reference quickly so i’m not a clueless twat almost every day; I leave that to everyone else around me.

So what does this have to do with my trip to Jamaica?

Well, in my hotel room the air conditioning unit was in Celsius. You’d think this would be easy for a Brit, but I have only ever used A/C in the USA and therefore only ever adjusted temperatures in Fahrenheit because England is cold enough to adequately retract a scrotum. As a result, there has never been a need to have air conditioning in the UK. If you want to cool down your gaff [house], you simply open a window, or a door, or turn off the heating.

So with this in mind, you can imagine the irony of having to reverse engineer the mathematics so I could figure out the temperature in Fahrenheit so I knew which temperature to select in Celsius to cool the room down.

Seriously, I couldn’t make this up.

Being a Brit in America can still be a ballsache at times, retracted or otherwise.

Jesus saves…and he’s managed to save enough for a deposit on a billboard.

I know I try and stay away from any religious content because, well, America. But sometimes they poke the bear a few too many times and I have to at least growl a bit.

So, this billboard is a real thing over here.

What do you think; a little preachy?

Hmm, I’m not sure these pillocks know how procreation works. Without lust, no-one would be having sex and then we wouldn’t have babies to continue the species.

Oh wait, these twats also put these up.

So much facepalm.

Well, at least Jesus saves. I mean, as long as you don’t count cancer, AIDS, cot death, famine, poverty or any disputes, conflicts or wars in his name.

So……….

Us Brits don’t necessarily say what we mean…keep up, America!

If you’re an avid reader of my blog (and why wouldn’t you be?), then you’ll know that the last 3 years or so has mostly been content around the cultural differences between the UK and the US…and a plethora of fart and dick jokes too.

Anyway, I’ve noticed a few other small cultural differences; one of which I wanted to share with you.

This difference revolves around the phrase,“We really should get together soon and catch up”

 

In the UK

Me: “We really should get together soon and catch up”

(Translation: “I’m saying this to let you know I like you enough that the mere idea of us getting together socially is something I would enjoy IF we were to do it. But we both know that we’re unlikely to arrange it anytime soon, or EVER, because neither of us really feel like socialising with anyone to be honest. However, please know that if I WERE to socialise with anyone, the thought of doing it with you is tolerable and I wanted you to know that I value you THAT MUCH as a friend to suggest it in the first place”)

Brit: “We really should!”

(Translation: “I am subscribing to this social dance we’re doing. I like you too, but let’s not have this social anytime soon…or ever…unless we absolutely have to, but thank you for asking”)

Me: “Great!”

(Translation: “Phew!”)

 

In the US:

Me: “We really should get together soon and catch up”
(Translation: See above)

Yank: “I’m free this Saturday”
(Translation: “I’m free this Saturday”)

Me: “Shit”
(Translation: “Shit”)

Fancy another? (to be sure, so it is…)

St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner, so naturally everyone at work is starting to wear green, drink green beer, and eat Lucky Charms (or whatever it is that Americans think the Irish actually do). In fact, some people have been wearing kilts and playing traditional Irish music including ‘Scotland The Brave’.

I shit you not.

I don’t think they realise that Scotland and Ireland aren’t the same place.

Anyway, during this morning’s drive into work, I had the radio on as usual and I was listening to a show called ‘Mercedes in the morning’ in which Mercedes – a woman, not a car – and her co-host, JC (not jeebus christ, just a metro-male called….well….JC) were talking about St. Patrick’s Day and all the fun and frivolity that goes with it.

Hey, by the way, did you know the mascot of Ireland is the Leprechaun? I didn’t! I wrongly thought it was a type of hat wearing fairy from Irish folklore and NOT something used to sell god awful cereal to sugar addicted snowflakes! In fact, I was so taken aback that they called it a mascot that I contemplated calling into their show and correcting them, but then I realised that profanity – an ACTUAL Irish tradition – isn’t really tolerated in the US, let alone live on air. So instead I decided to smile, shake my head disapprovingly and mutter lots of Irish traditions under my breath.

And by ‘under my breath‘, I meant ‘out loud, with the windows down, scaring other drivers‘.

But I digress.

Mercedes said there was a recent study regarding the number of drink-related injuries on St. Partick’s Day.

Really, a study?

She then went on to say that the maximum amount of drinks typically imbibed before some sort of injury occurs is 8 drinks for men and 6 drinks for women.

‘Fair enough’, I thought to myself.

It was at this point that Mercedes exclaimed, “8 drinks?? Who can drink 8 drinks?? I get to 3 drinks and I’m feeling all woozy!“. Then JC said proudly that he would occasionally knock back 8 drinks in his younger ‘party‘ days.

Fuck me, 8 drinks is what you consume at home BEFORE you head out on the piss!

In fact, my friend and I used to polish off a 12 pack of beers EACH on the sofa, and then get all miserable when we ran out.

Maybe if the US reduced their drinking age back down to 18 (yes, it was once 18), they could build up their tolerance sooner and keep up with us expats who are desperate for drinking buddies who can go the distance.

And get a fucking round in, from time to time.

Cheers!

Related image

‘Tis the season to be careful what you say…Fa la la la la

So, today I would like to talk about a massively contradictory double standard here in the US.

As you may know, in the US it’s a cultural ‘no-no’ to say something that omits or discriminates a particular race, religion, sex (or sexes, depending on which one (or ones) you identify with), or if it discriminates based on fashion, wealth, political leaning, car, shoes, hair, ….actually I think i’m making some of this up, but you get my point.

In a nutshell, we should all be talking like this….apparently:

So with this in mind, it’s fashionable to say “Happy Holidays” in the US rather than “Merry Christmas” because it’s considered offensive to wish someone a ‘Merry Christmas’ if they’re not a Christian/Catholic/Mormon etc.

But is that really true, or are we implying that other cultures aren’t tolerant?

Who knows?1

But I can tell you one thing, I am NOT touching a religious debate with a barge pole. Oh, wait, that’s probably offensive to people who aren’t familiar with that saying…or to people who drive barges, or to those who don’t.

Wait, do you drive a barge? Or do you sail one?

(Awkward pause)

Either way, I’m not touching this with a barge pole / Christmas tree / Driedel / Kinara.

Is…is that better? Seems a bit of a mouthful. (Insert penis joke here…..and also insert ‘insert penis’ joke here too)

I suppose it’s the same as people wishing me a “Happy Thanksgiving” or “Happy 4th of July” when I’m English and don’t celebrate them. Oh, I get SO offended! I can’t believe that people have the audacity to….nah, i’m fucking with you, I don’t care.

I recognise that Thanksgiving is a thing at the end of November, like Christmas and Kwanzaa is a thing at the end of December and Hanukkah is a thing around the same time as the other things I just mentioned; it’s all a bit confusing if i’m honest. But just because I don’t celebrate these holidays, that doesn’t mean others can’t wish me good tidings at their belief’s time of year; good for them! I appreciate the gesture because it’s NOT ABOUT ME!

Anyway….

This post wasn’t intended to be a rant at the ‘I’m offended’ culture (as much fun as that is), but more of an observation of a massively contradictory double standard around this time of year, hence the opening sentence.

So, we say “Happy Holidays” to avoid offending those who don’t celebrate Christmas, but apparently we’re OK with:

  • Christmas decorations in the shops (stores).
  • Christmas decorations adorning homes everywhere.
  • Christmas trees for sale.
  • Christmas music on the radio.
  • Christmas imagery2 EVERYWHERE, including lots of pictures of Santa, Reindeer, Elves, Snowmen (sorry, SnowPEOPLE), snow, Christmas trees, holly, mistletoe, and all that stuff directly linked and relevant to the birth of Jesus.
  • Christmas foods.
  • Ugly Christmas jumpers (sweaters).
  • Christmas lights, inside and outside.
  • Christmas hats with antlers, Christmas trees, holly and all the same Christian imagery from before.

It’s all a load of bull……dog

And, above all, a lot of workers get the day off on Christmas Day! Although i’m sure the non-Christmas folk out there insist on going into work that day instead of taking a paid day off with their families.

But that’s OK, because it’s our right to celebrate Christmas as long as we don’t do it openly.

What a farce.

By the way, if you go to somewhere like Greenland and see a reindeer, is that considered offensive?

Food for thought.

Unless you’re offended by food.

Merry Christmahanakwanzika everyone! (I really wish I’d made that word up….sigh)

1 – We know

2 – Not a single image of the Holiday Armadillo I’ve noticed. Sorry Ross.

Stick it to me, baby.

I get stuck in traffic a lot, especially when commuting to and from work because, well, there are more idiots on the road at those times (myself included1). As a result, I get the joyous and underwhelming opportunity to read the various stickers people adorn their cars with.

And they use them a lot in America!

From the Jesus fish…

Jesus, would you look at these!?

…and the ‘My offspring is serving in the Army/Navy/Air Force’…

Everyone gets a participation trophy

…to the various forms of ‘Coexist’ I’ve seen.

Holy Idealism, Batman!

But nothing sums up ignorance like the two stickers I have seen a lot of recently.

And no, it’s not a collection of pointlessly stupid stick figures of family members.

Get ’em Darth! GET ‘EM!

No, these stickers are as follows:

If you don’t have the same views as me, I will shoot you

And this one:

Be nice to each other, or so help me I will kill you.

I get the feeling these stickers are supposed to portray pride and like-minded thinking in this fine country, but they’re pretty aggressive if you ask me (and this is a statement from a thick skinned Brit living in the land of the thin skinned…so that’s saying something!)

For me, it boils down to this:

“If y’all ain’t gon’ be wit’ us, then we’s gon’ shoot y’all….so help me God”

(I’m sure he won’t).

These stickers aren’t a display of Patriotism; they’re Jingoism at it’s most prevalent.

Maybe this would be more appropriate?

Seems about right

So remember, if you won’t share this post with all your friends and family, then feel free to…erm….feel free to….er….not?

 

1 – Not true.

My brain filter may need some work.

Being a Brit living in America is, mostly, pretty easy.

The main issue I have (other than the stupid way they format their dates, their driving, their TV, their….well, you get my point) is filtering my disgusting and yet hilarious brain from reacting when I find something funny that others REALLY won’t.

After all, offending someone over here is as difficult as fist fighting a baby.

These moments of internal hilarity involve things like growlers, double-fisting and, more recently, this sign I saw on a colleagues desk that was clearly meant to be heartwarming…

You know what’s coming…

It took all my willpower not to put a note on it that reads:

“So are your wife’s tits”.

Does that make me a bad person?