In the “polished/edited/paraphrased” words of the following possible candidates: Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, Bertrand Russel, Dylan Thomas, and/or Winston Churchill…
The English and the Americans are “two peoples separated by a common language” or “two nations divided by common language,” if you so prefer.
Yeah, it doesn’t really make sense to me, either. I prefer the Eddie Izzard version…
“They do say that Britain and America are two countries separated by the Atlantic Ocean. And uh… and it’s true.”
Much more sensical.
My first encounter with Great Britain was traumatizing. The little brunette at the customs counter scared me! And I don’t scare. Despite her petite stature, I am still convinced that she could take me. I was willing to tell her anything she wanted to know! I was willing to lie.
“It was me! I did it! I swear! I don’t know exactly what it is that I did, but you’ve convinced me with your accusatory tone and boring laser-eyes that I am guilty of something. And so I confess.”
They should have her interrogate terror suspects. Or perhaps that is exactly why they gave her a job at customs. It felt like it took me an hour to convince this little interrogating-genious that it was okay to let me into the UK because I was leaving it again in two days. That’s right. Two days.
In the end she conceded and I was free to go. Although, I’m still convinced that I’m guilty just because I’m alive and want to see if there are really sheep in England. That is a crime, right?
* * * * *
After Boy picked me up from the airport I spent half-a-day regrouping from the flight and one day visiting an old acquaintance, H., from Washington-state in York. After wandering around York Minster and it’s adjacent shopping area, we met up with her for delicious ice-cream and a walking tour of York.
After this day I have learned two very important things about England. One: there are, in fact, tons of sheep wandering around green-pastored hills enclosed with rock walls; and two: there are tons of churches. Not all of them whole, but all of them beautiful to even the non-religious person such as myself.
It is easy to be inspired by the sheer vastness of man’s achievements on this earth. By our ability to create greatness through functionality.
York has other beautiful buildings, as well, which cover centuries of historical styles and cultures. Mideval residents and ancient castles on man-constructed hills. I was not left wanting for more, but all the same did not feel like I missed out in the short amount of time we spent there. My hunger for York was satiated.
After a very fine day of walking and delighting in English food which consisted of Fish and Chips with a side of Ale, of course, Boy and I settled in for a night of packing and planning for Morocco.