Back home in KC, now. Typically, the time change in this direction is easier to adjust to than the time change going the other way. Yesterday, L and I spent some time in the little park at the City Market, watching robins tend to their nests, and then later had a great dinner on the patio at the Thai Place in Westport. I went to bed at a normal hour, all signs pointing to a successful temporal readjustment.
One thing I didn’t think of, though. I woke up last night at around 2, which would have been 8 in Manchester, with a caffeine headache.
yeah yeah, the time change stuff is normal but what about the MIND CHANGE going from england, coming back to the states? what’s it feel like man? we’ll be in europe for two months and i’m curious to know what it felt like for you to return.
Well, I’ll offer my usual caveat regarding the subjective nature of my experience and my observations, and then I’ll provide these wildly overgeneralized comments:
1) The news is a lot more thoughtful in England. A bunch of national newspapers reflecting a range of ideological positions available in every corner shop. On TV, BBC news is top notch. Coming back to the states, I’m struck by how all the lead stories on the local news are about car accidents, fires, and emergencies.
2) The top story in the national news in England remains Tony Blair’s honesty following the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. In America, people don’t seem to take this issue as seriously with regard to Bush.
3) A frequent assertion is that there are more overweight people in American than in other parts of the world. We can take England off this list of other parts of the world. There were a couple of different articles I read, in two different newspapers, about the connection between weight and class: that being slim has come to be associated with middle-class values while for centuries carrying extra weight around signified wealth. The English are gaining weight, and they’re trying to figure out what it means.
4) People dress with more style in England.
5) There are insipid shows on television just as there are in America. But there are also some very lively documentary programs the likes of which we don’t have. Our documentaries, at least the historical ones, tend to have a sort of somber tone to them. For example, I watched a great program as part of the “What the Tudors and Stuarts Did For Us.”
6) People rely a lot less on their cars in England and this makes for a more social, more friendly environment.
Of course these could probably be complicated with a more rigorous study of the differences between the two cultures, but there ya have it.
did you ever think to yourself, or to l, man, i could live here?
Yeah, that thought has crossed my mind, for a variety of reasons.
Are you thinking about defecting? ;-)