Tag Archives: America

An Englishman in Albuquerque

true friendship makes the most of the good in life

New Mexico in November is very bleak, very cold, and very unforgiving ~ and you can trust me on that one, because I’ve been there for the past week.  It’s not the kind of country you would choose to spend time in the late autumn unless you had a damn good reason.  Such as attending some important conference, except the conference I was at was called a retreat.

After the retreat ended on Sunday I opted to spend another couple of days out here in the high desert, first visiting Santa Fe, and then heading back to Albuquerque to hop a flight back to Orange County CA tomorrow.  Despite the cold, snow, and hard harsh countryside, I’m glad that I had the chance to see even just the tiniest part of this vast state.

The experience reinforced in my mind just how different America and Americans are from the life experiences of an average Englishman such as me.  That’s a good thing.  I need to know that there are other standards of behaviour and ways of doing things than the English way, than the way I would customarily do stuff.

A cool guy should be able to fit into any strange situation, including America, without either making a fool of himself or losing his identity.  A very cool guy should be able to be charming, honest, open, and capable of talking with anyone, including Americans from New Mexico.  It’s easy to relate to people who are similar to you, but not so easy for an Englishman in Albuquerque.

The watchword is that I need to lose my prejudices, and accept that some people really like to try to connect and have a conversation with someone they have only just met.  Or, to put it another way, when in America, do as the Americans do ~ it is their country after all.

Some say that all American men should grow up and stop acting like a high-school freshman all the time.  And, that learning to properly eat with a knife and fork would improve the average American’s manners no end.  All I know is that America is a cool place, and Americans are really nice people, if you just accept them on their own terms.


Jack Collier



Retraction and Apology



A few days ago I wrote a post entitled What’s in a Name?  In this post I was quite rude and dismissive of all things America and Americans.

I unreservedly apologise for most of the content of this post.  I would also like to say that I like America, I like most Americans, and I absolutely love some Americans.  As you can see I also like the Ford Mmustang and road trips in California.

If you think this is a sudden volte face, then maybe you should also read a post I also wrote quite recently Sometimes I Act Insane.

There is no excuse for the things I wrote in my post criticising America and Americans.  However, there was a reason for my negativity ~ if I feel threatened I act insane.

Luckily I think I have found a way to lay the deep, dark, demons created by my chronic fear of abandonment ~ go back in time and put things right.  Perhaps read another of my recent posts Letter to Myself ~ aged four and threequarters.  I never believed this kind of self-help magic worked, in fact I was a complete sceptic ~ but now I do believe some of the things I have been told, and the world seems a better place.

Please accept my sincere apology, and assurance that I won’t make this kind of stupid, nasty, vicious mistake again.




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