After spending five days in London last summer, my friends and I took a train north to Edinburgh to spend our final week together in Britain. Our schedule slowed down. We checked out the gorgeous city at a leisurely pace. We slept in Dylan’s apartment instead of a random hostel where our shit could be stolen.
Yet, somehow, I felt out of place.
In London, I almost kamikazed a car driving in the “wrong” direction. I didn’t pick up the accent very quickly. I would last two minutes driving in London-proper. But there was no culture shock.
I felt at home.
I don’t necessarily know why either. My blood descends from Germany and Austria. I grew up as one of those divorce-refusing Catholics. Nothing in my life suggests a close bond with Britain.
If I had to guess, it would be because of the close historical relationship between America and Britain. Our nations share such cultural, historical, and economic ties that it’s almost impossible to imagine our two nations at loggerheads with one another.
History has always been a passion of mine, so perhaps it is only natural that I feel a certain kinship with the nation with which we saved the world from Hitler and stared down Stalin. Then, when after 300 years, Britain was no longer able to act as hegemon, we assumed their position on the world stage, for better or for worse.
See how romanticized this shit is in my head? Notice how I left out centuries of colonial exploitation, cultural rape, and political subjugation abroad? I guess the old cliché about falling apples isn’t so far off.
I am Rites of Patches. And I am an anglophile.