My posting the photo from Independence Hall made me remember another little incident from my visit (which I will get round to writing up properly). At the end of the second tour a rather loud Spaniard applauded the tour guide with a huge degree of enthusiasm. It didn’t feel like an applause moment, especially since the tour guide before hadn’t received one.
I was standing next to this enthusiastic man and he prodded me. Being British, this greatly offended me so I stared at him, which again is my British way of showing my intense anger at him. Not that he got that hint, he said “come on, applaud”. Now, not only I was not applauding, nor was anyone else, so I wasn’t being out of place here. Applause moments should naturally be apparent in life.
Verging on being livid at this uncouth behaviour in the home of American democracy I ignored him. This strategy failed so he asked me “why aren’t you applauding?”. I replied, quite grumpily, “I’m British, we don’t like creating a drama”. Now, saying this in Independence House was a bit ridiculous, as the British have created dramas all around the world for centuries and no more so than when the country ran the colonies.
Anyway, my response got a round of applause from three people nearby, although I wasn’t trying to be humorous, I was trying to articulate my nation’s values. The Spanish man walked off and complained at some confused group of Americans that they should have applauded. I was then slightly irritated that I had a round of applause, as that was the outcome that I had been trying to avoid at the beginning. Oh, when I said confused group of Americans, I mean they were confused by him, they seemed perfectly sensible and clever people otherwise.
I don’t know why I started on this story, I think it’s because I’m still irritated at being told to applaud.