21 Things That Happen On July 4 When You’re A U.S. Expat In The U.K.

“Oh, say can you see / God save our Queen.”

1. When you have dual UK/US nationality, July 4th is a day fraught with cognitive dissonance.

2. Today you’re neither American nor British, neither a patriot nor colonial. You don’t know whether to celebrate your independence or be oblivious to it. It can get pretty awkward.

3. Because you’ll wake up looking forward to a day full of cookouts and fireworks, then realise that you have to go to work – because obviously July 4th isn’t a holiday in the UK.

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4. And somehow your boss doesn’t agree that because you’re half-American, today should be a half-day holiday for you.

5. Today at least one British person will say “welcome back!” to you, despite the fact that you have no British heritage whatsoever.

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6. Someone will also wish you a happy Independence Day, and you’ll automatically reply “you too!” before remembering that they’re British.

7. “Happy losing-your-colony day!” Somehow doesn’t have the same ring.

8. Today you will spend a goodly amount of time explaining to people that a cobbler isn’t just someone who fixes shoes.

9. Not to mention the difference between American biscuits and British biscuits.

 

10. And the significance of Independence Day for Americans.

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11. From 2pm your phone and inbox fill up with holiday greetings from your friends and family in the US.

12. These get progressively more jaunty and misspelled as alcohol is taken across the Atlantic while you’re still at work in the UK.

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16. You scour your local area for fireworks, but won’t find any because it’s not November.

17. You spend the evening at an “American-themed” barbecue to celebrate Independence Day. You will drink out of red cups, and eat chipolatas in baps.

18. Your culinary contribution will be a recreation of the American wonder that is Frito Pie, made with British ingredients. It ends up being a sort of shepherd’s pie covered in Frazzles. Which isn’t half bad.

19. And while Independence Day in the UK isn’t quite the same as in the US, it’s nice to celebrate part of you with your UK friends.

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20. And, even if it rains all over your July 4th cookout…

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