Life Among the British

Back when I was much younger I was fortunate enough to spend the better part of two years in England, courtesy of the U.S. Army. I happened to be assigned to a Military Intelligence detachment located at RAF Alconbury, a U.S. leased airbase about sixty miles north of London. Not only did I get to travel around the country while I was there but I got to know the British people pretty well, which turned out to be one of the more enjoyable (and occasionally frustrating) experiences of my life.

One of the first obstacles newcomers from the U.S. have to deal with after arriving in Britain is the language itself. While American and British English are almost identical, the key word is “almost”. For example, I was slightly taken aback the first time someone asked me if I wanted “bangers” with my breakfast. At first I thought they were talking about fireworks but it turned out that “bangers” are sausages.

Then there was the British contractor who stopped by our operations building one morning to deliver some supplies and mentioned in passing that his wife had been in an auto accident the day before.

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