Mar 22, 2009

OTP (6) -- Cultural Imperialism (both imports and exports)

I'm not sure if this happens to everyone, but whenever I'm here in the UK, I always find things that I wish I could import back to the States on a grand scale.
  • I'd bring back the beautiful window boxes which seem to exists absolutely everywhere. They adorn houses, restaurants, and lots of other public buildings. And they always seem to look beautiful, whatever the time of year.
  • I'd teach everyone to make tea like they do here -- usually by the pot, and when they pour, they leave enough room for you to add milk without it spilling over the rim.
  • I'd introduce pub culture. I ate dinner Friday night at a pub in Edinburgh, and was interested to see all these folks at the same pub: 1) 2 elderly women eating a sandwich dinner, 2) 3 academic types (one was carrying a work by Foucault) discussing something esoteric and sipping pints), and 3) a table of hevily pierced, tattooed, mohawked fellas watching sports and being mildly rowdy. I just LOVE that all these folks felt at home in the same place.

And conversely, there are things which I wish I could bring to the UK.

  • I'd bring enough "mixer valves" to install in each and every faucet in the country. That is, the contraption that allows you to mix the hot & cold water before it comes out of the faucet. I get so tired of washing my hands or my face or brushing my teeth, and having to alternate between the cold and hot taps. First you freeze, then you scald, then freeze, then scald, etc. Bleah.


Anonymous said...

Hello Maria -

My name is Matthew Hill and I believe we talked a couple of years ago (in Lexington) about the Durham program.

I'm looking to potentially start the program at Durham and was wondering if I could bounce some questions off you.

Here's my email - hope you're doing well and enjoying your time at Durham.


Janet said...

You can teach me to make tea properly. I know that my very proper British ancestors are spinning in their graves over the way I do it.
And I'd love to introduce Pub culture (not Bar culture).

Stephen Lawson said...

oh no! You're back in the states. Which means no more blogging....
Until you go back across the pond.

I agree with your thoughts on the pub. Not only do we need pubs in the US, but we need a pub culture.

Also. Two taps was always a stupid idea.

margi said...

For some reason pubs don't export well, they always turn into a bar/eatery with a target clientele. I've never understood that.

david mcmahon said...

Enjoyed this post. I've been lucky enough to travel the world, seeing many wonderful sights. And I live in an amazing country.

(Came here from Janet's site.)