Back in 2006–I can’t believe it’s been three years already!–I went to Europe on a spectacular vacation with Kate and her family. Our first stop was Liverpool, England, with a side trip to beautiful North Wales.
We spent a great day walking around the town of Conwy, North Wales. The town is home to Conwy Castle, which was built in the THIRTEENTH CENTURY, which is amazing when you think about it, if you’re American, anyway. We don’t have anything nearly that old here, of course!
As we explored Conwy, the juxtaposition of new against old was a sight to see. It was a bizarre thought, to me, the American, that someone could actually live in and conduct their 21st Century day-to-day business in a place that’s been in existence for eight centuries. (And I could live there in a heartbeat!)
I was taking everything in while walking and talking, and this sign caught my eye.
It seemed to me that it fit right in with how Americans think of folks in England and Wales: that they are prim and proper, and very humble. I had a great laugh about it. I thought it was adorable that the owners of the restaurant weren’t going out on a limb; they weren’t claiming that they do indeed have THE BEST and THE LARGEST hot dog in the U.K. And really, they’re just being honest, right? They don’t claim to know for sure; they just think that they probably have the best and largest. Heck, I just wanted to try it myself, because their sign was so charming! (But alas, it wasn’t lunchtime!)
You would never find a sign like that in the States. In stark contrast, Americans have a reputation of being brash and over-confident, and dare I say, subject to exaggeration. The sign, if it were on this side of the Atlantic, would have claimed that it was THE BEST and THE LARGEST hot dog, on no other basis but the owner’s decision on the wording for the sign. In fact, in certain areas (popular vacation spots, for example), you’ll find signs just a few feet from each other, each claiming to have the best *insert item name here*.
What is it about the American confidence level? Is it based on lies told solely to get ahead? Is it based on outstanding self-esteem? Does it go all the way back to the time when we rebels left England to create the colonies?
And what is it about England and Wales and their politeness? Does that go back to the traditions and rituals of having a monarchy? Is it just plain maturity, gained after so many centuries? Does it have something to do with Elton John?
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Mostly, I think it has to do with speech patterns. I am now hungry after reading this post and really want to try that hot dog and see for myself how good it is.
I'm with WeaselMomma. I'm thinking of nothing but hot dogs. 🙂
Well, I think I'll have to go out for lunch NOW instead of in an hour….
Maybe they're more honest than we are. Or maybe we're just more straight-forward about what we think without caring if we offend anyone or get called out. Maybe we're more inclined to fight for what we believe in. Who knows. Interesting to think about, though.
Wow! I've probably never read a post that is probably as good as this one probably is. We'll probably have hot dogs for dinner tonight. They'll probably be the best.
I've often thought Aussies are even MORE laid back in the confident stakes. Whenever I get back to the UK, the people I grew up with there and others I talk to are ALL super animated and excited when something is good – saying things like wicked, brilliant, amazing.
You will NEVER catch an Aussie say anything other than 'Alright', or in some cases, 'Really Good'. Maybe we all need to take a little page out of each others books – or just blame Elton!
I have no idea what's up with the American confidence level. I'm not usually one to believe the hype till I've tried it, and…..opinion is always subjective.
Elton John! Hahahaha! That same over-confidence gets us in a real sticky widget sometimes.
Oh, and your word verification spells out "USA#1" jk
So this reminded me of the most disgusting hot dog I've ever had. And I don't know if you remember this, but I LOVE hot dogs…and it was at a Red Sox game, and I LOVE the Red Sox. So you'd think this story has a happy ending. But it does not.
The hot dog, called a "Monster dog" had gerth. It was so gross and quite honestly, I was embarrassed to eat it, especially b/c there were young kids around. It was weird.
I prefer to think of it as we just have very strong beliefs that the things we are involved in are the best. BTW, this is the BEST comment EVER that you'll receive on this post 🙂
Headed to Cosco this afternoon and adding hot dogs to the list. I only eat the Kowalski natural casing hot dogs…preferably slightly burnt. Those are most DEFINATELY the best!!!
I just need to know how it's possible I never saw this photo at all, with my hot dog obsession/kitchen? I need to add this to the wall!!!
Lunchtime matters? Huh.
Personally, I love the updated pricing, too. And the language. Such a shame you couldn't try it to verify….
Yay for me — it only took me ummm three reads to understand the humor of your post title. yikes.
I might have to write a "quite possibly the best" post. Let's face it, with NaBloPoMo a girl needs some topic ideas 😉