Our Common Culture

A week ago I spent a week in England, the Brighton Hove area, in a small town named Lewes. We went to Stonehenge, Oxford, Dover cliffs, the Tower of London, and a few other spots.

Leaving the US for Gatwick we sat in the terminal as our plane coming in emptied of passengers. Just as it arrived several young mothers with strollers approached the gate. They were carrying American flags and were meeting husband soldiers.

As the men and women in dusty camo exited the plane, better than half of the two hundred or so people waiting for flights stood and applauded – for a long time. The applause got louder as each new tanned face came into view.

I wonder what those same people would have done if a whole plane load of national news media got off and had to walk the gauntlet next? Where's an over-ripe tomato when you need one?

In England I learned that scones are just as tasteless there as they are here. Even with a thing called curded cream? And as I suspected, a Big Mac tastes the same in London as it does in Hong Kong or NH.

The telly had a special about Dr. Who I could have watched on PBS.

There was another British show from which our American “Deal or No Deal” with host Howie Mandel was probably morphed.

Arnold Palmer was doing commercials in England for second home developments in Spain (nice golf courses).

Many of the kids wear American sports team shirts.

PT Cruisers are popular.

For the life of me I could not spend the change I kept accumulating. They need a paper One Pound note over there.

Almost got hit by a tiny little car as I crossed a tiny little road in the middle of nowhere. Driving around corners on two wheels seems to be a national sport.

The best part of the trip:

No news at all for a solid week about the all consuming news of Katie Couric switching networks. These Brits know what's important.

The last time I was in Gatwick was several weeks after 9/11 and most of the cabbies I saw had American and British flags in their back windows. I would wager some of the people applauding our soldiers in the US were Brits going home on our flight.