Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy 4th July!!

I almost consider myself an 'honorary American'.

Over the last dozen or so years, I have visited for an extended holiday at least once every two years. By an odd quirk of fate, several of my University friends moved to America - following spouses or better job prospects - and I now have more of a social network around the north-east States than I do in London. Since moving to China, I have probably spent as much - or more - time in America as I have in the UK. In that period, I have spent a couple of July 4ths with my old Oxford buddy, The British Cowboy (who, like
a man who spends too long on the same bicycle, has become more American than English). I have travelled through most of "the Lower 48" states, Greyhounding from coast-to-coast three times. And a majority of my girlfriends, both here in China and in my former life, have been American - or at least, 'North American' (almost none have been English; I wonder why that is?). I nearly got a (frighteningly well-paid) job in America 5 or 6 years ago (that prospect going pear-shaped was what propelled me to China - it's a funny old world!). I can readily picture myself living in America in my 'retirement'. I much prefer it in almost every way (apart from the scenery - I do miss British scenery) to the UK.

I have spoken before of my preference for Thanksgiving over Christmas, and for Independence Day over St George's Day. I would love to go out somewhere tonight to celebrate the 4th. But, I fear, not much will be happening to mark the day in Beijing (there'll be something at the US Embassy, of course; but I don't have the 'in's' there). Perhaps there will be some barbecue events this weekend.

Anyway, warm best wishes to all my American friends. And, if you're in Beijing, I hope you can find a few firecrackers, and perhaps a decent hotdog, to remind you of home.

PS As a tender jibe at my American friends, I have just added a new joke to my 'collecting box' over on the Barstool.


omg said...

I'm touched! (Of course, I haven't read the joke yet, so I reserve the right to take it back.) And just think, if our ancestors hadn't decided to go at each others' throats, we wouldn't be exchanging blog comments right now.

Froog said...

Ah, so good to hear from you, OMG. You've been strangely silent of late. New job taking its toll?

Me too!

You're in Texas, aren't you? Or thereabouts? Fine barbecues to be had tonight, I'm sure. Beijing has been a bit dull, I have to say.

omg said...

Yes, new job, everything blamed on the new job. I spend just as much time on the computer, but don't have nearly as much fun.

Nope, I'm in North Carolina. I'm sure there were many fine barbecues, but I did not attend any. I did listen to some fireworks, though I was too lazy to seek out the lights. Pitiful of me, I know. Maybe next year...

Froog said...

Oh, I could have sworn I noticed a Texas reference in your blog somewhere. Maybe I just dreamt that?

NC, huh? Not Durham, by any chance. An old college buddy of mine teaches at the University now, and I try to get down to visit her and her family every once in a while. Haven't been for 3 or 4 years now, so overdue...

Froog said...

Duke, that is.

There are, I'm sure, other Universities thereabouts.

Froog said...

One of my less Americophile British friends used to have a T-shirt with the slogan: "Cornwallis surrendered, I didn't."

Hard to imagine what the world would be like today if America were still part of a British Empire. But I think it's unlikely that the colony would ever have remained attached for very long - too large, too distant, too (potentially) wealthy and powerful, too profuse and diverse in its immigration to remain for long under the control of the 'mother country', I think. It's curious, though, that it should break away on grounds of pure idealism, when it was still so comparatively small - before those other factors had really begun to make themselves felt.

omg said...

Not in Durham, though somewhat close.

Great t-shirt!

Yes, well, we Americans are known for being prematurely courageous, if nothing else. [Insert other less flattering adjective in place of courageous, if desired.]