NEW YORK TIMES: "TA-TA LONDON HELLO AWESOME"

by Joseph McKeown


Sarah Lyall's time in London as foreign correspondent to The New York Times has ended, and she writes about the British:

Why did rain surprise them? Why were they still obsessed by the Nazis? Why were they so rude about Scotland and Wales, when they all belonged to the same, very small country? And — this was the hardest question of all — what lay beneath their default social style, an indecipherable mille-feuille of politeness, awkwardness, embarrassment, irony, self-deprecation, arrogance, defensiveness and deflective humor?       

Not that Americans get off easy:

After years of using pound and euro coins, I find dollar bills cumbersome and idiotic. After years of living happily among Britons who by New York standards would be considered functioning alcoholics, I now find my old friends’ tendency to order wine by the glass, not the bottle, unnecessarily Puritanical.       

It's an excellent and amusing piece.

Along these lines, in an effort to help the two countries better understand each other as well as examine the cultural divide, Guardian's New York newsroom has a very informative tumblr called English to English. Especially helpful is their link to this brilliant chart.