My mother and I flew over to England several days ago.
Here’s what happened when I asked the English gate agents if my mother, who is a senior, could board early. “No,” they both said in unison. And then laughed. “Of course she can,” they said. This is British humo(u)r.
At Boston’s Logan Airport, as I was about to move a lovely big rocking chair to the window for my mother, an Italian man grabbed it out of my hands and took it away. An Englishwoman in a nearby chair immediately got up and gave me her chair. These are (old-style) British manners.
A saleswoman in a clothes shop said to me this afternoon, “I don’t understand Obama. One minute he’s telling the world to conserve, and the next minute he’s opening up the Arctic for oil exploration.” I like Obama immensely and voted for him twice, but I didn’t have an answer for this excellent question.
At a restaurant today, when I ordered a pot of tea, the English server asked me if I meant “normal tea.” Presumably Americans like abnormal tea?
Whatever. It’s good to be home.