We have spent a lot of time hanging out with international students who, even if they can barely understand us, are more familiar with our humour than most here. It is not hard to spot a foreigner, they will be walking for a start, the concept of not having a car being as alien to locals as some think we are, “do you have Cell phones in Britian?” This ridiculous comment was maybe sparked by another tell–tell sign of an international, that everyone has a flip phone, the nineties brainwave that not only connected your ear and mouth with a sweet butternut hinge but made the businessman look gloriously nonchalant when accepting a call.
However the easiest tell-tell signs are what the international student is wearing. Their sunglasses wont have ‘croakies’ on for one thing. The redundant strap that goes round the back of the head and hasn’t been seen in England, outside of the sailing world, since people realised that ear hooks are easily sufficient for holding glasses on ones head. That is in anything but a hurricane and though it is actually hurricane season here at the moment the point is still valid.
Also everyone here seems dressed for an imminent sporting occasion. The problem of impromptu kick arounds being hindered by skinny jeans and converses is just not an issue. It is also all sportswear of the university team, on the first day we thought there was a game on and ended up following some people to a freshman English class. It turned out to be very interesting but Diggers chants of “GO GAMECOCKS GO!” were not appreciated by the lecturer. And that leads us to the punch line, our university team is the South Carolina Gamecocks which means that all the sportswear that everyone so proudly wears is garishly emblazoned with “Cocks.” All the girls here just love cocks.