Conquering and remapping England!

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THE RED LION: All directions were given from pub to pub if you wanted to go anywhere.

I NEEDED no more convincing after that single first trip to England (read the UK) that it was indeed an exceptional place populated by people of high intelligence and understanding.
This was made most manifest by one primary fact alone, if you wanted to go anywhere else from where you were, directions were given from pub to pub.
Naturally all directions are started from The Red Lion (the most popular name and derived from James I when he required his red lion to be displayed on all public places), “drive down the hill then back up for erh, about two miles on your left is The Black Swan, (all swans are owned by the Queen and protected by law), “turn left and go for about six miles to The Drunken Duck and I live three doors down on the right.”
I never once got lost, and if I did I was distracted by the quaint name of another pub I encountered along the way. The Quiet Woman (a woman carrying her severed head in a bucket), The Winking Frog and a must visit, the oldest continuous pub: Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem, in Nottingham.
Here I was in a distant country, where people could get outrageously drunk and never once speak to the person or table next to them! I was getting “culturefied” and educated at the same time as enjoying myself criss-crossing the country driving on the wrong side of the road. Whoopee! I just might not leave.
That place called England is just not “quaint” but ranks high on any list of the uncommon, eccentric, charming and whimsical – unless of course you’re knocking back a few at the Pig and Whistle and it’s full of Aussies or some other nation of the Commonwealth that want their voices roared and remembered on that heralded mother soil. (Still, you can’t talk to the people at the next table, unless of course the carpet moves and your Mick Jagger imitation falls flat).
Proper politeness is conveyed by a nod, a “sorry” and important stiff acting that the incident never happened.
If I ever mustered enough courage to mutter even the slightest syllables of a word, the surrounding indigenous habitants screamed “American, he’s an American” even before I could finish apologising.
That pronouncement just didn’t label one, you were painted with the psychological hues and dramas of each person therein surrounding you and under English Rules you were now fair game.
Therefore, being linguistically impaired and obviously out of place demanded each and all to file past you and leave a quip or short storied vignette concerning their understanding of Yanks.
Not all of it was bad, and most memorable, I think.




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