In America my name is Kyle. A typical exchange goes like this:
YANK: Name please?
YANK: Kyle?CARL: No, Carl.
CARL: C A R L
YANK: K Y L E ???
KYLE: Yes Kyle that’s right.
One night we went to the original Hoffbrau Haus in – wait for it – Cincinnati. It was a reasonable copy of the one in Munchen. Because I was on my best behaviour I only had one beer with dinner. Thankfully that one beer came in a 1 litre stein just like at Oktoberfest.
We also visited a chain called Fudruckers where I demolished a one pound ‘works burger’. Was so meatyliscious that I even had mad man meat dreams later on that I was being chased by an Indian web developer.
One of my colleagues has a puppy that goes to ‘puppy crÃ¨che’ every day while she is at work. The day after I left Dayton she had to take it to a dog psychologist because it suffers from ‘separation anxiety’ and ‘floor phobias’.
Here is something that will surprise you all. American’s are far politer than the English. Let me clarify that so there is no confusion. The people I met in New York and Ohio were on the whole considerably more polite that the people I meet every day in London. Everywhere I went people often said things that you almost never hear in the UK like ‘thank you’, ‘excuse me’ and ‘sorry’. People in shops and restaurants (many who don’t receive tips) often smiled at me when they said hello. Maybe they are just afraid of being shot as one cynical friend pointed out or maybe common every day politeness to strangers is still alive and well in American culture. Good for them.
I’m not knocking the English but personally I think it is a sign of a poor mental state of a society when the accepted behaviour after kicking a six foot four skinhead is to sneer at him.
Flew out for another Friday night in NY. A stewardess who could barely fit down the isle said to me “snack bastard”. After briefly wondering ‘but how does she know’ she gave me a snack basket. The snack basket may have only had three or four mouthfuls of food but it had more calories than a wedding in Somalia.