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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.

20th Century Fox / vampirecircus.tumblr.com

 

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.

Lionsgate / reactiongifs.com

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.

20th Century Fox / imgur.com

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.

Dimension Films / guodag.tumblr.com

13. But your half-and-half status does mean you can see the funny side of tweets like this.

You threw. Our tea. In the harbour. And then you changed the spelling of harbour. We do not. Forget.

— Erren (@ErrenMichaels)

14. As well as tweets like this.

I wonder if Britain listens to sad Adele and Taylor Swift songs on independence day

— Taylor Richard (@trich8830)

15. Also, you learn that July 4th is not just American Independence Day.

It's Bowel Independence Day! Challenge the taboo and talk about bowel issues. #bowelindependence

— Coloplast_UK (@Coloplast_UK)

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.

New Line Cinema / to-silverglass.tumblr.com

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

21. It could always be worse.

Arthur hits NC coast just before July 4 holiday More: http://t.co/slwnO4Ss9j Mobile: http://t.co/b5iURvovYd

— WSVN-TV (@wsvn)

Check out more articles on BuzzFeed.com!

Robyn Wilder is a staff writer for BuzzFeed and is based in London.
 
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