I am not British!

We are rapidly approaching the two month mark since we moved to Amsterdam.  In that time it has become apparent that I look like a British dude to Dutch people.  I have been mistaken for a Brit no less that 10 times.  It has become a bit of a joke between Shari and myself.  It’s gotten quite rediculous.  Being that I am an overweight bearded man with no discernible British accent, I have no idea why this keeps happening to me.  The latest offense in this regard occured the last time I went to Starbucks for a cup of joe.

A few days ago, I was out enjoying a rare moment of sunshine in between rain storms in Rembrandtplein. Although sunny, its still quite cold here, so I wanted to warm up with a nice big cup of hot coffee.  I decided to walk across the street to the local Starbucks for a tasty java. Seeing that there was a huge line for bean juice, I persisted in my quest for coffee since I had my iPhone with me so I could waste some time in line.  I ordered a Venti Cafe Mocha with an Extra Shot, which oddly, I’ve never had before. Then as is Starbucks custom, the cashier asked my name, so I replied “Patrick”.  She scribbled on my cup, I paid my six euros and moved on down the line.

I waited patiently for about five or ten minutes for my drink, but it never came.  Suddenly, the barista starts yelling for someone named Nigel who needed to pick up their drink.  “Nigel! Do we have a Nigel??”  No answer.  “Venti Cafe Mocha with an Extra Shot for Nigel!!!”  “Wait a minute”, I thought, “That’s what I ordered!!! Who the hell is Nigel?!?”

Long story short, I told the cashier that my name was “Patrick”, but I suppose that my overwhelming British tenor made that sound like “Nigel”. The barista and I had a good laugh and I got a move on. 

Nigel!?!?  How can you in any way get that from “Patrick”?  Nigel is perhaps the most British name that I can think of! I have no idea what I am doing to make people think I’m from the UK.

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