Becoming An American Alan Partridge

Unfortunately when planning my stay at College Station, my budget wouldn’t stretch as far as staying at the Ritz.

Not that there is one here anyway.

Instead, after deep deliberation and a few glances on Google, I ended up choosing a picturesque, charming and more importantly cost-effective, travel inn.

I’ve been here for two weeks now and have been living in unrivaled luxury. I get all the mini-soaps, shampoos and conditioners that I could ever dream of.

Genuine question – what more could a man want?

Well, at this place, they have the answer. Towels, towels and more towels. I’ve never seen so many different sizes of towel. Big, really big, small, medium.. I have no idea what their purpose is and part of me is happy with not knowing.

I’m quickly turning into an American Alan Partridge. When I’m bored of President Palmer from 24 asking me ‘Are you in good hands?’ on yet another Allstate Insurance commercial, I seriously think of taking the trouser press apart just so that I can put it back together for something to do.

In essence, that’s not entirely true. When I’m not on the campus or gobbling up chicken and beer at a nearby sports bar, I’m walking. Everywhere. On average, I literally walk seven or eight miles a day – in 100 degree heat. Ouch. Back in England, I used to barely know what walking was.

Luckily for me, it’s keeping me fit and offsetting the copious amounts of chicken wings that I’m eating on a daily basis. It’s not all been eating out though. I do have some restraint.

Today marked the first meal that I prepared myself since being out here. I visited the nearby HEB supermarket and let loose. I’d made the biggest rookie error of them all – food shopping on an empty stomach.

Everything looked appealing. I hadn’t even got halfway round and my basket was overflowing with stuff I’d probably never even get round to eating.

With the nagging voice of ‘get something healthy’ in the back of my mind, I made a dash for the fruit aisle. As I type now, I’m plucking grapes and delivering them into my gob. Who said men couldn’t multitask?

Anyway, another obvious error was waiting for me around the corner. I had bought the ingredients to make myself a lovely homemade ham and cheese baguette. As I got back to my room, horror struck. The realization that I had zero kitchen utensils at my disposal started to set in.

In the end, I had to make do with the cards that I’d been dealt. I hacked open the French bread with my bare hands and quickly stuffed it with ham and cheese. I then ate it in a speedy fashion before all the contents could fall out. Very gourmet.

Now I’m fed and watered, I can get back to watching one of the ten billion US and Mexican TV channels that I have the delight of choosing from. Although part of me really does not enjoy watching TV over here as it turns me into a hypochondriac.

There is a medical commercial on every five minutes that lists about 20-30 things that could go wrong with you if you take it. Why ANYONE would then think about rushing to the store and buying it completely boggles my mind. I’m not even joking, one commercial about sleeping pills said that drawbacks of taking them was ‘possible death’. There are no words.

Instead, I think I’ll play my favorite game. This is seeing if I can throw a water bottle (empty of course – for health and safety reasons) into a bin that is located at the other side of the room.

Like I said earlier.. Luxury.

PS. I’ve just realized that Americans won’t actually know who Alan Partridge is. If there is one thing that Americans should take from British culture, it’s AP. It’s one of the funniest sitcoms you will ever see. Enjoy.

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