The Avengers movie is called “Avengers Assemble” here. I’m guessing because most people here associate “The Avengers” with that old British TV show.

I’ve always wondered, for foods in the US that we prepend with a geographical distinction, what they call them in those places. Meaning in Canada, is Canadian bacon just “bacon”? Or Swiss cheese in Switzerland and Belgian waffles in Belgium. Or is it like American cheese, where the name is always there? Or something else?

I found out that “bacon” in Canada is just like bacon in the US. What we call Canadian bacon they call “back bacon”. (SN – I’ve noticed that newspapers in the UK consistently place periods outside of quotation marks. Am I wrong that it’s the opposite in the US?) Why we call it “Canadian” I have no clue.

Here’s the weird thing. I’ve mentioned before how there are more types of bacon here. Well the standard “bacon” here is more like Canadian bacon than anything else. If you get a Bacon McMuffin at McDonald’s, it’s pretty much just like an Egg McMuffin in the states. American-style bacon is called “streaky bacon”. So “bacon” in Canada is not Canadian bacon, but it is in the UK. Odd.

They also have way more varieties of beer-ish drinks here. The categories at the supermarket are overwhelming. One thing they have a lot of that I like are these lower-alcohol apple or pear ales. Stella Artois has an apple ale. It’s pretty good.

I mentioned in passing how it’s rude here to refer to someone using a pronoun in their presence. An American friend of mine once did this in a meeting, talking about how “she” said something, and a coworker interrupted him, saying “surely you mean Jane”. There’s also a saying here that parents say to their kids when they (rudely) refer to someone present by a pronoun: “Who’s ‘she’, the cat’s mother?” Yeah, makes no sense to me either. But the point is, it’s quite rude to use “she”, “he”, “her”, and “him” when they’re there.

I find that exhausting. You have to really concentrate to get people’s names to avoid this, and I’m terrible with names. Here, I find when I meet someone, I’m laser focused on remembering their name, so I don’t do the rude pronoun thing. That possibility comes up more frequently than you’d think. But I also don’t know what to do in situations where I don’t know the name. We were in a taxi, and Joshua was saying something about not liking the music, and I told him, it’s not our car, it’s “his.” The taxi driver’s. Was that rude? What do I say otherwise? I haven’t figured out the rules, so as with other things where I don’t know the rules, I feel paralyzed.

I will say though that the etiquette thing is a little overblown. I’d read a bunch about how Brits are more standoffish, how it’s really hard to break into social circles, how they don’t like to talk about personal things so don’t pry so much. There’s like a hint of truth to all of that, but just a hint. In general, they’re not *that* different from Americans. And I get the impression that they’re even more understanding of differences, since there are so many ethnicities in the city.

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