People in the US are always keen to talk to you once they know you’re English or British.
And they seem to think we all personally know Prince Harry.
Sure I’ve met once, but we’re hardly ‘mates’.
I’ve now given up trying to explain exactly where I’m from in England.
The conversation generally goes: “Where you from there?”
“Plymouth, you know... in the South West of England.”
Usually at this point I draw a map of the isles in the air and point to the bit on the left.
“Is that in London,” they then almost always ask.
“Er, you know what? Yes it is... in fact, the WHOLE country is contained within London.”
I just can't be bothered.
I’ll never ever forget a pompous Aussie in Sydney asking me the same question.
When I replied “Plymouth,” and “it’s near where the best beaches are in England” his response was “you have beaches?!”
"Yes that’s right, because we live on a frikkin island.”
Mexicans are different.
I’m sure most Mexicans have never visited London but they seem to have a better grasp of the geography.
I can't be too critical of the Americans as their country is just so huge.
Bizarrely San Diego itself seems to be more Spanish than Benidorm. The closer you get to the border the more taco stands and Spanish-language signs you see.
When we’re in the US Jacky and I seem to swap roles.
In Mexico I let her lead the conversation. But in the US, being predominantly English speaking, I take the lead role.
It’s strange and I often forget, letting her stumble through a conversation while I stand in the fold.
It’s only when I open my mouth that I realise I can wholly engage in conversation again.
Most of the time though I can’t help but answer ‘si’ or ‘hola’. Weird huh?
Christ, I even order burritos when I’m the States.
As you can no doubt appreciate all conversation at the moment revolves around that small sporting event we call the ‘Olympics’.
Everyone keeps asking me if I’m ‘excited’ about the games.
So much so I reply, that I moved to a different continent.
Looking at friends’ comments on Facebook, I’m sure that given the chance many Londoners wished they had too.
London is one of the busiest places on earth, so what’s an extra few hundred thousand visitors?
A few extra cars, a few thousand more tourists with cameras.
I can only imagine what rush hour on the tube is going to be like. I feel bad enough getting in the way of commuters as I stare blankly at the tube map when I visit.
Imagine all those foreign visitors clutching huge maps and puzzled expressions.
God, even the thought of it sounds like an Olympic-sized pain in the ass.
I really hope it does help to boost the UK’s economy and end this existential ‘funk’ which walks hand in hand with the double dip recession.
But hey, I couldn’t really give a toss about the games themselves.
To gain my interest they should introduce some new games.
Maybe a two-mile sprint event for footballers who have just been told they have had their Ferraris torched by Seb Coe?
Or how about an archery event with everyone aiming their arrows at Sepp Blatter in his hospitality box?
Or wait, how about an event where Gary Lineker eats as many Walkers crisps as there are starving children in the world?
One name captures my imagination, and his event is the only result l will listen out for. Tom Daley.
Smash it mate, make Plymouth proud and put the 'Great' back into Great Britain.