It’s Good to Try Different Things Even — Maybe Especially — When You Feel Judgemental
Ok, well I haven’t bought a Volkswagen beetle bus yet but I am going to Stonehenge for the Winter Solstice.
When I first moved to Brighton, England, I was amazed to discover an entire community of hippies — really! They call themselves that and they are: they go to silent retreats and ayahuasca ceremonies and play kirtan on the beach. They wear gold eye sparkle bought at Lush and volunteer at Bestival on the Isle of Wight and camp out at the Glastonbury music festival for all four days, unfazed by the rain and mud.
My entree to this community was my friend Hamy. She loves the story of how we met so here goes:
I was new in town, didn’t know people and I saw a flyer for something called “Laughter Yoga.” Well, I could’ve used a bit of both so I went along. I found the address but there was a small pool on the ground floor and the business was called Baby Swim.
I went up the stairs to see if there was anything else, never imagining this could be the right place, stuck my head through a door and apparently with my New York attitude and a hand on my hip, as I was told later by Hamy, asked, “Are you the friggin’ laughter people?”
(scroll down to see the complete quiz)
Number one: b. Believe it or not, this Brit expression is: “I can’t be arsed”!!! For the longest time, I was saying, “I can’t be asked”. I thought it meant I can’t be bothered. At a fairly serious gathering, someone finally pulled me aside and told me I really shouldn’t be using that expression in such a setting. (I do love the comment below that suggested the “arsed” version is probably used in prison!)
Number 2: b. “He did it off his on bat” comes from the games of cricket and means doing something without they do it without anyone else suggesting it.
Numero 3: a. Out in the sticks. As in, in the middle of nowhere with the sticks and trees. Styx is a band.
“High” collars, innit?
Piccadilly Circus. We’ve all heard of it — the London (much smaller) version of Times Square. But where does the word “piccadilly” come from?
When I first moved to uk, being the cheapskate I am, I used websites where people want to offer stuff for free that they don’t need anymore. Websites like Freecyle and Freegle.
I remember the first time I saw an ad for “hardcore”. They were giving it away! And I thought, “Those quirky Brits! They’re supposedly so uptight and yet they are just letting the entire world know they’ve finished ‘reading’ their porn magazines and want TO GIVE THEM AWAY!” Then again, I thought, why should they discard two large black bags of the stuff when someone else might want it? Who am I to judge? Two bags though. But you never know what’s going on with people. Lost his wife? Got fired? Horny bastard? None of my business.
Then i saw this ad:
Note to reader. I don’t know how to put footnotes in so I used * and ** and ***. Footnotes at end of post.
While studying for my driving theory test, I noticed that there’s lots of material about the darn roundabouts.* This is a very roundabout-oriented country.
Then I started to notice that in general Brits like round things. They love that London Eye thing. Lots of buildings in London are round.
If you ask a Brit if they are enjoying their meal, they might say:
“Oh it’s lovely!”
Food is “lovely”? Really? Is it wearing a pink bow?
Or they might say it’s “delightful”. Huh. Did the pudding tell a good story?
Or even, “nice”. Did the ribeye pick itself off the plate and open the door for you?