Tuesday, May 14, 2013

10 Reasons Why It's Great to Be an American Expat In Britain

This is the second in a two-part post, following our list of things that make being a British expat in America great. Well, some of you have asked me, what about the other way around? What life perks should American expats expect if they make the long journey across The Pond? Here are 10 reasons why it's great to be an American expat in Britain.


1. People think you're the coolest person in town
It doesn't matter how big of a dork you were back in your hometown of Nowheresville, as an American living in Britain, you are automatically the absolute coolest person in town. So long as you use lots of phrases that sound like they came from an American action movie (phrases such as step on it!) then you're going to do just fine. Note: certain phrases can rub the British populace the wrong way. For instance, try to avoid saying "I could care less."

2. Lots of people find you attractive
It's true! Because our tabloids and gossip magazines are chock-full of attractive American celebrities, you - with your inherently American ways - must, by default, also be attractive. It just stands to reason. As bizarre as all of this sounds, be prepared to gain many admirers during your stay in Britain.

3. People think you're rich and successful
While this could potentially be a detrimental characteristic (if, that is, you possess no wealth of any kind), an American expat would do well to play up his or her credentials, if only to further guarantee the occurrence of numbers 1 and 2. Note: while a lot of British people are indeed of the belief that most Americans are rich, no one likes a liar. So if you are not actually swimming in money, simply bend the truth a little.

4. Everyone is amazed by your perfectly white teeth
Stereotype alert! There are just some things in life that cannot be denied: humans need water to stay alive, two plus two is four, and Americans have the best and whitest teeth in the known universe. Whether or not this is true, it's always a good idea to flash that smile as much as you can during your stay across The Pond. Note: the last sentence may or may not be an accurate statement.

5. People are intimidated by your perceived confidence
It is a commonly held belief among Brits that Americans possess unparalleled levels of confidence and charisma. As an American expat living in Britain, you are hereby advised to take full advantage of this viewpoint, if only to intimidate your acquaintances into doing what you want them to. Note: don't be rude.

6. People gravitate toward you
Whether they are enamored with your American accent or just cannot get enough of those teeth, certain British people will gravitate toward you in an effort to gain more understanding of your homeland. If you are someone that secretly likes to be the center of attention, then moving to Britain is the greatest decision you could make in life. Note: sometimes gravity works against you.

7. You can explain away your odd habits by insisting: "it's an American thing"
We've all been there: you're hanging out with a bunch of new people when suddenly you say or do something that perhaps didn't yield quite the response you were looking for. On occasions like this, simply flash those perfect dentures and insist: "it must be an American thing." It works every time. Note: in this example, "odd habits" are not the same as "criminal habits", which, for the record, are not afforded the same immunity.

8. You get to watch British TV shows before your fellow Americans
This might be the best reason of all. For those of you who are sick of having to avoid Facebook for fear of Dr. Who spoilers or who cannot stand the unbearable agony of waiting for Downton Abbey to reach Netflix, moving to Britain is a pretty solid solution. Simply switch on terrestrial TV (BBC, ITV or Channel 4) on a specific day of the week, and you'll be able to watch new episodes as they air.

9. You don't have to calculate sales tax in the store
While the cost of living in Britain is slightly higher than in the U.S., this does not negate the fact that sales tax is already included in the cost of an item. So when buying those £25 pair of jeans, you won't need to count out an extra £1.50-or-so in order to afford them. Note: if the people in number 3 are correct, you may be indifferent to this benefit.

10. You probably have distant relatives living here
Whether you are aware of it or not, there is a good chance that somewhere up and down Britain there is at least one person from your very own bloodline! What better opportunity to explore your roots than to visit members of your family tree? Note: if you are a Royal descendant, call this number today: +44 20 7930 4832.


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4 comments:

Expat mum said...

I think you mean you don't have to calculate the sales tax yourself. Unless you're a non-resident, and have the time and patience to faff about with the VAT refund, everyone has to pay an extra gazillion percent in VAT which is already included in the price. Daylight robbery.

Laurence Brown said...

That is indeed what I meant. Good call.

themovetoamerica said...

I loved reading this as I can see all of these things happening with regards to my American husband! He does indeed have the cool thing going on, especially when he talks as when I say the things he does I just sound distinctly nerdy. He is also perceived (and indeed is) confident with lovely teeth!
I often get some nasty comments that he is a gun loving, loud mouthed, gum chewing moron (none of which a true - apart from the gum!) as people naturally assume he is not as bright as Brits. Generally though, the reaction is a positive one.

Elizabeth West said...

I wish #2 were true! :P Though most of my running around on holiday occurred during the workday, so not much opportunity to meet many people. Guess I need to spend more time there. ;)

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