Friday, July 16, 2010

434 Days In - American Times

I was going to write about July the fourth. To commemorate the anniversary of when I started writing these thoughts, and to report what a fun time we had compared to last year; how we went out in our new neighbourhood, how we bonded with our neighbours, how we wooped at the fireworks and felt at one with the Americans.

But then I got ill.

So the day was spent mainly sitting in and listening to all the fun outside. Though, still, it was more eventful than last year.

And all has not been lost. It is Summer - and though the weather actually only gets cloudier in May and June, Californians head to the beach, light fires generally have a good-old all-American time.

Chris and I were invited to one such party and revelled in our British uniqueness as locals thrust red-plastic cups into our hands and fed us S’mores. The gentlest initiation into a tradition I have every had to go through.

The red plastic cups, that I have seen so many a time in US teen films, are, apparently, to hide the fact that you are drinking alcohol - which is of course illegal to teens anywhere, and illegal to anyone on state beaches.

Of course, though, our red cups did not have alcohol in them - officer.

A S’more, for those of you in the dark, is a roasted-marshmallow-melted-chocolate-biscuit-sandwich. You cant go wrong there, right?

Interestingly, having been to the shops and chosen their ingredients, I was handed my S’more with a somewhat apologetic gesture and a mumble about Hershey’s chocolate.

The famous Hershey’s bar, some kind of symbol of American childhood, remembered so fondly by Chris, just doesn’t taste very good. It holds all the promise of what we call chocolate, but something just isn’t right. Rumours abound that it has wax a part of its ingredients - but that was just in the past. Maybe the key to the delicious taste that Chris tries in vain to hold on to.

It would seem that most Americans are aware of the relative luxury of a Cadbury bar when compared to its Yanky cousin. Why then they don’t just use Cadbury’s chocolate can only be due to nostalgia; and in this case I was happy to have the experience in its full American entirety.

What is the point in being here, otherwise. Right?

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