Two Countries (maybe three)

There are many things that are much better now we are living in America, and to be personal for a moment, my favourite is that my wife no longer snores.

I can’t put my finger on why my night’s sleep is no longer interrupted by Vesuvius.  Certainly, Denver is a mile about sea level, and the atmosphere up here is very different.  It is so dry, and I do feel ashamed to admit this, but I have had to resort to the use of moisturising face cream.  Yes, things are really changing in the Ward household.   Sorry, men.

There are so many things that are different, we assume that because we speak the same language and use the same words, that we are very similar.

This week’s big laugh has centred on that lovely piece of food that one has after the main course, made from pastry, with things such as fruit on top.  Yes, a flan.

But our lovely Izzy calls it a FLON, in fact every American calls it a FLON.  Laugh, we all corpsed.

When we moved, I had to have a good talk to myself, there are certain subjects that I can never discuss with any American, certainly no-one I meet through work or in this middle class enclave.  As they say at sales school, never discuss religion, politics, or sex.

And this week it has all gone completely pear shaped, but the good news is the worst error was Heather’s.  Buying a turkey baster this afternoon, she actually told the shop assistant, in the poshest, most lovely kitchen shop you have ever seen…….that the device was phallic.

If you haven’t spent much time in middle America, you will be amazed at the relationship they have with sex.  It really just doesn’t exist, and this poor posh shop assistant didn’t even know what the word meant.  But she laughed when she worked it out, which I think was a 50:50, the 50% of the population that I can’t discuss religion with would have thrown us out.  The problem is you can’t tell which camp they are in.

Before I describe my big error, a moment of serious diversion.  I will blog on it at some point fairly soon, but I think I am waiting for some kind of moment of revelation on the attitude of America to guns.  I hate guns, and let’s face it, none of us are happy with 5 year old kids getting killed.  But I now have a Twitter exchange going on with a grown up man, who describes himself as a lawyer, who tweeted direct to me “return to the UK and live in fear of the armed criminals….why do you think more UK police being armed”.

There is such a bizarre lack of reality and logic in the American approach to guns.  There are 41 gun deaths a year in the UK, 10,000 in the US.  But they just don’t get it.  It is very upsetting still to think about this subject, and it comes back to all 4 of us almost every day, but I must move on.

So we went to a local party last weekend, my first, something I really needed and I really enjoyed it.  Really enjoyed it.

In my defence I was on drugs, a quick ridiculous trip to the UK had wiped me out, and left me with a bad cold.  Not that it is a cold over here, they don’t have colds, they have flu, but hey, give me drugs.

A few days in Calgary, in the very oil (and money) rich part of Canada, at 10 degress below didn’t help.  I could give you another diatribe on the difference between US and Canada, but….I digress.

So several 007 cocktails later, beers, wine….yes, I was flying, I was indestructible.

And I broke rule 1.

Yes, I lectured my lovely new American neighbour on the inevitability of taxation, the deferred price to be paid for the US induced recession.  I would like to say that my argument was very logical and I was not trying to be party political, I just know there is a price to pay, and in Europe  every tax payer is paying this price.  But in the US they have deferred the economic medicine, and the “fiscal cliff” approaches.  They deferred the tax rises 4 years ago, and government spend has increased, yes, there is a price to be paid.

The US political system is now very polarised, and the problems in achieving compromise is very difficult, and the middle classes are very unhappy.

Yes, he told Heather I was “left wing”.  I just hope he will talk to me again, I certainly can’t go in that kitchen shop again, and I continue to think of the phantom flan flinger.  I don’t think Chris Tarrant would have got a laugh out of a FLON flinger.  But maybe after so many good nights sleep I have lost it, and for once in my life, I could be wrong.

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