The Displaced Nation

A home for international creatives

Tag Archives: Russell Brand

Dear Mary-Sue: Expats face tough come-down after Olympics high

Mary-Sue Wallace, The Displaced Nation’s agony aunt, is back. Her thoughtful advice eases and soothes any cross-cultural quandary or travel-related confusion you may have. Submit your questions and comments here, or else by emailing her at

U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! That’s been the chant in the ol’ Wallace homestead these last two weeks. We took on the world and we whopped its ass — just as it should be. All very exciting — and some of those swimmers! Well, let’s just say they can come round to Mary-Sue’s pool to practice their doggy paddle anytime they want.


Dear Mary-Sue,

I was watching the closing ceremony of the London Olympics last night, and at one point the commentator said that it was a great tribute to British individualism and creativity. But why don’t we just go ahead and call it eccentricity? Because that’s what it is, right?

Former expat in Britain, now happily repatriated to USA

Dear Former Expat,

Hmm, if my understanding of British culture is correct, and bear in mind that I am no expert like Mary Carillo, but I don’t think there was enough cross-dressing for it to technically count as British eccentricity.



Dear Mary-Sue,

At the conclusion to the London Olympics, Sebastian Coe said: “Britain did it right.” But then why were the Spice Girls involved in the closing ceremony?

A happy repatriate to the USA after several years in Britain


How many years were you in Britain and yet you never learned their famed sense of irony? Two weeks Mary Carillo has spent there and she has got it all sorted. Shows what you can do if you apply yourself.



Dear Mary-Sue,

I’ve been watching my home country, Britain, host the Olympics for the past two weeks, and now I’m really homesick. What’s the cure for this? (I’m allergic to chicken soup.)

Ben in Boston

Dear Ben,

Epcot, British pavilion. Just like being in Britain, but with actual customer service!!



Dear Mary-Sue,

I noticed that the great Brazilian footballer Pelé made an appearance in the closing ceremonies when Britain was handing over the Olympics flag to Brazil for the next Summer Games in 2016. As you may or may not know, Brazil will also host the World Cup in 2014. As much as I like the Olympics, in my opinion, that’s a far more important and prestigious event — even though America, my new country, doesn’t participate. Would you agree?

Pablo from Pittsburgh

p.s. Viva España!

Dear Pablo,


Mary-Sue is all about those tasty swimmers. Is Ryan Lochte (yeah, he’s an idiot, I know) going to be at the World Cup? Thought not. Pelé may have been a great soccer player, but all I know about him now is that he does commercials for Viagra. Give me Lochte any day.



Dear Mary-Sue,

I noticed that one of the Displaced Nation writers, Anthony Windram, was criticizing the NBC coverage of the Olympics. He even went so far as to call Bob Costas the “ugly American.”

Though I now live in England, I’m sure it couldn’t have been any more partisan than what I witnessed over here on the BBC.

Wasn’t Windram just being churlish and if so, why was the Displaced Nation giving him so much “air time”?

Bob from Britain

Dear Bob,

I agree Windram is a blight on this site. I actually have to deal with him. I ask for Ryan Lochte and they send me that chump Windram. I wanted a wet athlete and they give me a wet fish. He called Bob Costas ugly, I know which one I’d rather wake up to on a cold winter’s morning.



Dear Mary-Sue,

At one point during the Olympics, tensions between Kiwis and us Aussies here in the Netherlands reached an all-time high because they were winning more medals than we were. But all’s well that ends well, or at least that’s the way I and my fellow Aussies see it: we finished 10th, with 35 medals (of which 7 were gold), as compared to their 16th-place finish with 13 medals, of which 5 were gold. However, some Kiwis continue to lord it over us despite these stats. Until now, we all got on quite well. How can we repair the rift?

Ethan of Emmeloord

Dear Ethan,

Wait, Australia and New Zealand are different countries? Well, I’ll be a monkey’s Aunt!


Dear Mary-Sue,

Why did NBC show Russell Brand singing but not Ray Davies?

Baby Boomer in USA

Dear Baby Boomer,

As one of the 800,000 people to have experienced at first hand the debauched ways of Mr Brand, I can attest that while his whole Pied Piper aesthetic is unusual, his spindly body has an unusual sexual-voodoo pull on others. I’m guessing that Russell was awarded a gold in bedroom gymnastics by Mr Costas, and that Costas then made sure Russell was included in the final broadcast. Ray, by contrast, probably wasn’t able to be heard by the 17-year-old athletes, like Missy Franklin, who were screaming in excitement for One Direction.


Anyhoo, that’s all from me readers. I’m so keen to hear about your cultural issues and all your juicy problems. Do drop me a line with any problems you have, or if you want to talk smack about Delilah Rene.

Mary-Sue is a retired travel agent who lives in Tulsa with her husband Jake. She is the best-selling author of Traveling Made Easy, Low-Fat Chicken Soup for the Traveler’s Soul, The Art of War: The Authorized Biography of Samantha Brown, and William Shatner’s TekWar: An Unofficial Guide. If you have any questions that you would like Mary-Sue to answer, you can contact her at, or by adding to the comments below.

STAY TUNED for tomorrow’s post with some cooling thoughts for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere who, after sweltering away under the summer’s record heat waves, need a boost to get through the remainder of August.

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