Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Cultural Divide

When asked by a friend if I was looking forward to my trip to London at the end of the month, I replied that I was scared. Not of crime, or terror, but scared that the cultural difference between me and the UK will have become so great, that I would get arrested for doing something I didn't know was wrong.

It's close to two years since I was last in London, and the vast majority of my life here occurs in an American-Israeli bubble. Last week I went to Sheva Berachot for friends, and I just got invited to a similar event in London

The British Invitation - by email.

My wife and I are organising a Sheva Berachot dinner on Date in August for Chatan & Kalla. We would be deligthed for you to join us, but would appreciate having a postal address to send you an invitation. Please be kind enough to let me know how best to do this. When will you be in London?

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Kol tuv,
Name & Number

The Israeli Invitation - by phone.
Me: Yo, how's it going?
Chatan: All good... you?
Me: Just wondering how life-after-wedding is going? All good?
Chatan: Yeah man, we're gonna order pizza and make Sheva Berachot our apartment. See you at 8?
Me: Sweet... I'll bring a bottle.
Sure... these incidents are both extremes, but most Sheva Berachot I have been to over here haven't been organized much before two days in advance, then the SMS's get sent, or calls get made, and we meet up in an apartment, restaurant or forest. I am pretty certain this is first single instance that I will receive a postal invitation to a sheva berachot.

Culture is rich, and every country thrives on their own methods. The pre 2003 version of myself was always forward planning, but now, I won't talk about Shabbat before Wednesday.

If I never blog again after mid-august, there's a good chance that Her Majesty will have locked me up for some form of treason I have forgotten existed.

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