Coming to America: Antony

antony

Place of Origin: Barrow-in-Furness, United Kingdom

When and why did you come to America?

When I was 13, back in 2006, my dad’s company offered him a choice between Germany, Munich or somewhere in Linden. He had already lived in Germany for a year, but none of us spoke German, so it was a pretty easy decision for him to pick the US. So we came, for the same reasons everyone else does, to make more money basically.

Did you face any challenges while living here? If so, what were they?

Yea and no; being a white English guy in America is actually like more privileged than being a native born American. So for some instances it’s like playing on ‘easy mode’ cause people give you a lot more deference because they have some preconceived notions about the kind of person that you are that tend to be positive. So, not really, the only struggles were just feeling disconnected from the culture and always sort of feeling on the ‘outside’ of things, especially when people hear you speak. But, not as much as other people do.

What is your favorite thing about America?

People [in the US] are a lot more open and straightforward than they are in the UK, people [in the UK] are generally quite reserved and a bit stand offish. So Americans, especially outside of New Jersey,  in the more rural areas are hospitable and nice and interested in finding out where you’re from. It’s definitely a lot more cosmopolitan, places like New York, you meet all kinds of people that you’d never meet, people from all over the world with all kinds of experiences. So I guess the ‘Melting Pot’ idea of America is pretty cool.

What is something you dislike about America?

The political scene is very closed off, there isn’t really much choice. People talk about the ideas of like American freedom and stuff like that, but things seem to be set in stone pretty much of the time. Knowing that there’s different ways to do things, but people aren’t interested in pursuing them. Also, just recently the reemergence of traditional American bigotry and racism. American racism is a very peculiar thing.

 

What are some common misconceptions that you’ve faced, in the United States, about your culture?

That English people are really smart and put together. Right? Cause if you go to Europe and you ask, I don’t know, Italians or Spanish people what English people are and they’re like, “Louts, they come to islands to get drunk and trash them.” But Americans think that everybody in England is either a professor or a wizard. So, those are some strange preconceived notions. And also, people know that I’ve been here for ten years, so I’ve spent most of my adulthood here, but they ask me questions like, “What’s drinking culture like over there?” they have all these questions they would ask, that made no sense contextually.