I was at an expat bbq picnic on Brighton beach yesterday. See, expats do things together – they make a point of finding each other and they do things like complain that you can’t find good zip-lock bags or canned Mexican chiles “in this country”. And we often laugh our asses off because we do really share something. We make fun of ourselves for being the loud, brassy ones, the ones that aren’t willing to squelch our personalities. And we all know who Oprah is.
And yesterday was July 4th and here we are in England and it had been originally pronounced that no one was to bring British food (it was frowned upon that Jennifer had brought Early Grey and lemon vodka) but we did compromise on allowing British sausages. Some of the significant others were born here, after all. There was some fantastic food and little in the way of cutlery. Laura got some tabbouleh in her mouth through some combination of gravity and eating kind of like a dog. And I met her only once before, and she claims to be shy. I do like that about Americans — we do what we have to do to get what we want and she wanted to eat tabbouleh. My favorite moment was when a smashingly fun woman from Houston (“God, I had to get out of there!”), who at one point admitted that at times she prefers animals to her grandkids, was having a hard time finding something to go with the Vodka. She had tried some mint tea but apparently that didn’t work. I got distracted speaking to someone else but out of the corner of my ear I heard someone say they’d brought CapriSun Juices for the kids and then I heard Sharon pipe up, “CapriSun … that could work as a mixer….”
The friends from London who were bringing the cutlery showed quite a few hours later. In fact, we had all finished eating and were making moves to leave and the crazy redhead of the London expats late gang said, “Don’t you people know you stay at the beach til sunset, at least to drink????” So we stayed and drank. A couple of the women sent their husbands and kids home and we drank and laughed and lit sparklers even though it was still daytime.