Secret American Obsession

Brits are secretly obsessed with all things American.
As I am an Ameri-Brit, I am entitled to comment upon this secret obsession.

Now hold on there my little patriots, before you get your Union Jack panties in a bunch, Americans love you, too. We steal your TV shows, your comedians, your fashion, your actors, and give more media attention to the color of Princess Kate’s outfit than our own daily news.

I’ve comprised a little list of American things that UK citizens can’t seem to get enough of. Feel free to add anything I’ve left out in the comments.

American Girls
From Southern Belles to Surfer Chicks, Brits just love American girls. As they grow up with American TV shows portraying the lives of attractive, popular women, and media capturing images of glamorous pop stars, its no wonder there’s a desire to date “the American girl” amongst this culture. This works out quite well as American girls swoon for proper a British accent with its inflections and foreign terms. This may be the key to a successful relationship, being with someone whose voice you could never tire of hearing. Or maybe not.

American Print
Brits just love the American stars and stripes. Each year, the world looks to fashion forward London as it rolls out this season’s must have color and most desired print. But, slipped between the mint and lace, the neon and studs, the American flag’s red, white, and blue stars and stripes seem to always appear. Whether it’s splashed across the newest mini dress or wrapped around British breasts in a teeny bikini, it’s always there.

American Food & BBQ
The American Diner is a cultural icon scattered across the US. They serve as a historical representation of America in the 50s, a time recaptured often in Hollywood films. Diners are known for their oversized booths, black and white checkered floors, and lit-up juke boxes playing American classics. As they were designed to serve a widespread population at all hours, a typical menu consists of filling, cheap, comfort food. They’re known for homestyle breakfast of Pancakes, Waffles, Eggs, Bacon, and Sausage, and hearty American classics such as Cheeseburgers, Fries, and Club Sandwiches.

As Brits are known to love their Greasy Spoon, the fun vibe of an American Diner became a successful venue for a restaurant in London. Although it seems a bit confusing seeing a 50s style Diner plopped into the middle of bustling, trendy Soho, it really works as a business and became immediately popular. Friends pack the booths during the day, munching on French Toast and Pancakes, and late night party animals squeeze into a booth to subdue their cravings with a Burger and Milkshake.

Besides these great American classics, Brits love BBQ. Let’s be honest, who doesn’t? How could anyone say no to succulent meat slathered in a gooey, tangy-sweet sauce that has been grilled to finger licking perfection? They can’t. BBQ restaurants have flourished in London serving up Pulled Pork Sandwiches and Racks of Ribs dripping in the House BBQ sauce. The only downside to the British BBQ restaurant is that they have absolutely no idea how to make a good Sweet Tea.

Well, who could blame them? Oreos are delicious.
Oreos weren’t launched across the UK until 2008. Can you believe they were deprived of the creme filled cookie for that long? Whenever I would come to London for the summer, I’d ask my friends if they wanted anything from the States. The answer was always the same: OREOS! I felt like a criminal, smuggling my pack of Oreos into the non-inhabited cookie country. I wondered if they could be bribed with my foreign biscuits had I been stopped by Customs, but luckily, never had to find out.

Krispy Kreme
Brits love Krispy Kreme doughnuts.
But, they do it all wrong! They don’t savor the perfection of the original, glazed doughnut that gave Krispy Kreme its name. They stock up on boxes loaded with dozens of filled, topped, and flavored doughnuts and haul them off to the office as if they’re bringing in provisions for battle.

Here, small stands or shops are set up with shelves displaying the doughnuts like glimmering jewels. One thing they definitely don’t have here is “the hot sign.” If you know what sign i’m talking about, then you have experienced the bliss of biting into a hot, fresh Krispy Kreme. I’m not a huge fan of doughnuts, but nothing compares to these freshly baked babies.

Lucky Charms
This one needs some explaining. I don’t actually think that Brits just LOVE Lucky Charms. (do you?)
But, for some ridiculous reason unknown to me, convenient stores selling American products and speciality stores such as Selfridges sell a standard, normal box of Lucky Charms for almost £8! For the Yanks reading this, that’s about $12. I have held, examined, and shaken this extortionately priced box of Lucky Charms, and I do not believe there is an actual magical leprechaun hiding inside. Therefore, I do not see how Brits are able to charge £8 for a box of (delicious) crunchy cereals shapes with dried up marshmallows. Unless however, you lot are so obsessed with this breakfast treat, you pay some outrageous amount to import crate-loads daily.
I am now picturing the US-UK trade ship that goes back forth across the Atlantic, bringing Lucky Charms one way and bars of Cadbury chocolate back.
I now have a motive to become a pirate.

Don’t worry, even though you say to-mah-to and we say to-may-towe love you back!

Fourth of July: Washington D.C.

Happy belated Independence Day! It is a rare occasion that I am in America for this joyous celebration of independence from the Brits – as i’m usually on a plane to London.

We spent the 3rd pre-partying at a family BBQ. We had burgers and hot dogs with all the best side dishes. For dessert we had watermelon and American Flag cupcakes. The store only had 9 flag cupcakes left, so they threw in a few festive coloured dogs which turned out to be a great talk-piece.

After 20 minutes of thunder, lightning, and torrential downpour, we took a dip in the pool. The perfect pre-fourth BBQ.

For the Fourth of July, we stayed in downtown D.C. We spent the day walking around in the muggy heat, taking in the old and new of the Nation’s Capitol.
I spy a kitty. 

We stopped for lunch at The Sofitel. The perfect summer drinks: Watermelon Martini & Lime, Muddled Mint, Soda Water, Pineapple Juice

We met up with family friends for dinner at Capitol City Brewing Co.
How about that for a starter?

After dinner we walked with the crowds down to the National Monument to watch the most spectacular firework display. On the way, a family friend bought me a lightsaber to ensure I didn’t get lost in the crowds. It turned out to be almost as amusing as a sparkler.