If anything can go wrong, it will.


Firstly, clearly I have safely arrived in St. Ives. I have spent the past two weeks largely offline, because there’s nothing quite so fascinating as Alex, and were it not for the distance which is normally between us, I think I could be largely fine without the internet. In fact, most of our internet usage has been limited to binge-watching “Red Dwarf” on Netflix.

Secondly, I will get to the details of the travel itself at some point, but probably not until I am back in the United States. For now, I will just say that it was a pretty miserable experience.

Right now, I just want to babble about some of the things that I have observed thus far.  May not be nearly so entertaining for you, but this is all about me, anyway, right?

The British may not be quite so polite as the rest of the world thinks they are. Or perhaps it’s just customs agents who are there to deal with inbound visitors arriving at stupid o’clock in the morning.  Why am I crying? Well, it may be because I’m in a metric butt-load of pain, I haven’t slept for at least twenty-four hours, and I am 4,000 miles from home and you may or may not be allowing me entry into the country.  That just might be why I’m crying.

Oh, and Heathrow Express ticket agent… gee, thank you ever so much for not asking me any other difficult questions after my experience with customs, and for charging me more than twice as much as I needed to pay to get to Paddington Station.  That’s what I get for coming right out and saying that I was a hopelessly lost and tired American, I suppose.  Those famous British good manners may just be a thin veneer coating their sarcasm and/or disdain, that’s all I’m saying.

I have also learned that the British have their equivalents of the pervasive American “hon” or “honey”.  While I have yet to be called either of those things here in the U.K., I have many times been called “sweetheart” and “m’love”.  Thus far, only one person has called me “m’love”, but she did it four times in under a minute.

“I’m not your sweetheart, honey.”

“I’m not your honey, m’love.”

“I’m not your love, wench!”

Lastly, tourists are tourists. Even people from this country seem to lose their manners while on holiday here in St. Ives. They can’t recall how to share a narrow side-walk with other people and will merrily force you into the street rather than walk single file with their sweetheart or child for a step or two.  They will jump the queue in the shop or wherever, as if they suddenly forgot how it works.  I have it on good authority that this can’t be so. The British are all born knowing how to queue.

5 Responses to Observations

  • I’m sorry you had a difficult journey. Long distance travel can be a bit of a lottery and, all being well, your bad experiences will not be repeated on future trips.

    The British are not particularly polite or particularly good at queueing any more than all Frenchman wear little moustaches and carry French loaves under their arms. Such assertions are stereotypes without substance. What you have encountered in the streets is what one might call ‘the people effect’: people all over the world are awkward, selfish and insensitive oiks. It is thus on the streets of London, on the streets of New York, and in Brussels, Lille, Marseille and all the other places I have visited. One sometimes thinks what a lovely world this would be if there were no people. Smile, relax and take it in your stride, for there are good things – and good people – to be found too.

    Cornwall is a beautiful part of the world. There is much there to delight the eye and enchant the senses. The Cornish do not give of themselves easily to outsiders (like the Welsh, the Irish and the Scots, the Cornish have endured centuries of oppression by the English, so who can blame them?) so you may have to work to cultivate your friendships. (Yes, that’s a stereotype too but I think there is some truth in it.)

  • The silly, tongue-in-cheek spirit in which this was written may not have translated well.

    Despite the issues with customs and being overcharged for the Heathrow Express, nearly everyone has been lovely. And even the gentleman who overcharged me made me smile as I didn’t realise I was overcharged until much later.

    There is often some little truth to SOME stereotypes of course, or they wouldn’t exist at all. What I find disgusting is when someone allows a negative stereotype to colour their opinions and attitudes without actually taking the time to know a person, or people at all.

  • Hello there! As a token of my appreciation of you staying with me, I have nominated you for the latest award I have received, Blogger Recognition Award. You don’t HAVE to accept it, but it would be nice if you did. Here is the post where you can read more about my nomination:


    Thanks for remaining a reader and follower of mine, much appreciated!

    • I’ve just spotted this comment today, having been spending all of my time with my fiancé while I’ve been able to. I return to the States on Saturday and will take a peek very soon. I am so sorry for the delay, but I’ve wanted to spend as much time with Alex as possible. Thank you. I do enjoy your blog and am happy to stick around so to speak.

  • You caught the British jumping the queue? That deserves a quick celebratory gotcha! dance.

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