American Expat "Moment of Zen"

Originally uploaded by DeeMac
In homage to one of my favourite telly shows, I bring to you today's 'Moment of Zen' as an American Expat living in the UK.

On my flight home from Heathrow tonight, I was sat next to two 20-something Geordie lads who were commuting home from some job they'd just finished abroad. Their conversation meandered around a lot, often touching on funny stories about coworkers, including some of American descent. They were only speaking with eachother... and as far as I could tell, they had no idea it was loud enough that I heard everything they were saying.

At one point, the gents started telling funny but raunchy stories about one of the lads on their last job who watched porn at 3am every night, despite the fact he was room-sharing with other blokes. The jokes they made about this lad were very off-colour and I'm pretty sure not meant for my ears.

Later the conversation meandered back to their American coworkers, who they were earlier speaking of relatively kindly. However during 'Round 2', they started making fun of the American accents and optimistic natures, including impersonations of course.

( Up to this point in the flight, I had not said a word to them so my accent had not given me away, and luckily my clothes and hairstyle no longer serve as a neon 'American Lady' sign like they once used to do. )

Anyway, one of the lads does his best John Wayne impersonation and sings-songs 'Have a Nice Dayyyyy!' with a shit-eating grin on his face. The other guy, who's sat right next to me, starts laughing and says 'HAHAHA and they ALL say that too!'.

This is the point where I lean over to the gent right next to me, look at both of them and say "Actually, not all of us."

Initial reaction was an awkward laugh followed by looking down at their tray tables rather than at me.

Immediately followed by the silent realisation that they've just offended an American lady that they're stuck sitting next to for 30 more minutes.

Eventually the realisation that said American lady probably also overheard the entire porn conversation. (Although, potentially it's just wishing on my part that they'd be uncomfortable speaking about porn in front of me?)

And lastly, a palatable discomfort on their parts for the rest of the plane journey and a huge shit-eating grin on MY face this time.

Oops! :)

And that, my dears, is today's Moment of Zen.


  1. That's brilliant! Negative Brits! What do they have against having a nice day anyway?

  2. "they started making fun of the American accents and optimistic natures" - and this is just yet another reason why I should have been born British.... I sit around and make fun of American accents and what I think is actually a combination of naivete and fakeness but could be mistaken by immature foreigners as "optimistic nature".

  3. Jules, this made my day!! I am totally picturing you saying "Actually, not all of us" and it's classic BaconJ :-P And Jason, I totally feel the same way!! Lovely all, just lovely ;-)