Today is my first July 4th as an expat. Instead of celebrating with fireworks and a bbq and a well orchestrated invitation to a friend’s summer house, I’ll be spending the holiday first waiting for the good folks at British Telecom to supply me with a phone line, and then later in a London pub, drinking pints. Not a bad way to spend a Friday night, certainly, but not quite July 4th. I should be drinking beer (sorry, a pint is a whole other thing, arguably even a better thing, but much like “Kellog’s Sultana Bran” it just doesn’t cut it for me) and eating my once a year hot dog. Now tonight I could head over to the British Museum, which is oddly enough, celebrating “American Independence Day.” There, I can expect, and I am not making this up, basketball and football demonstrations, “lindy-hopping,” and cheerleaders. Lindy-hopping? Cheerleaders? Really? Guess it’s better than equating us all with George W. and freedom fries, but still.
In other happy news, I recently got cable, which is a big deal for me, considering I’ve been cable-less for years. Please believe me when I say that I am not one of those people who was proud of not having cable--you know the type, a close cousin of the people who like to brag they don’t watch tv, or worse, that they don’t “even own a tv.” Instead, I am one of those other kinds of people—you know the type. The cheap ones. But now armed with a fantastically complicated remote control and a satellite dish, I’ve entered a whole new world. I get, amongst a million other stations, “Wedding TV,” “Men & Motors,” and Al Jazeera. I am never leaving my apartment, excuse me, my flat, ever again. I’ll have to leave the lindy-hopping to some other expat this year.