Pub Culture and the Trump Question

Oh, British pubs. What else is there in London besides you?

I’m a good expat. I love pubs. I love local beers. (Here’s looking at you, Gipsy Hill Brewing.) I love chips. (That’s french fries for you Americans.) I love when it’s late enough in the evening that strangers start talking to each other.

Except. EXCEPT.

“Oh! You’re American?”

Well, first they usually ask if I’m Canadian. I’ve been told this is because I sometimes use typically British intonation, and that mixed in with the usual American accent makes people think Canadian. I often consider just saying yes and avoiding the question that always arises when I say I’m American.

“SO YOU LOVE DONALD TRUMP?!”

This question is generally accusatory. The question-asker anxiously awaits for a reply. They want me to say yes. I think with their eyes they’re willing me to say yes.

“No, of course not. Most Americans don’t like Trump.”

This is disappointing for the question-asker and their friends, who gathered at the name Trump like a magnet. Now they can’t debate me. I’m on their side. And yet the conversation spins off into a monologue on American politics – a monologue by said Brit to me, the actual American. It’s at this point I very much regret saying I’m not Canadian.

We continue the conversation by discussing the merits of both Sanders and Clinton. It feels like a test, like the Brit is actually an undercover agent attempting to survey my political knowledge. I try work Nate Silver into my replies to sound impressive.

And I always end the conversation with the same joke.

“If Trump wins I can always move to Canada.”

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