An English dinner companion said to me that the key difference between the English and the Americans is this:
The Americans will invite you over to their house to see if they want to be your friend
The English will wait until they are sure they want you as a friend before ever inviting you into their home
This was uttered at a business dinner; do not be alarmed, I had not actually managed to infiltrate an English dinner party. That in and of itself presents evidence in support of the underlying truth behind this platitude.
So I am stuck with the life of a lonely expat. I cheer when I hear an American accent, and find myself seeking out company of other Americans (in addition to a few wonderful and equally mystified continental Europeans; the Antipodeans are also quite a friendly lot and a relief to have around, demonstrating a healthy disrespect for their colonial overlords that is almost always expressed through comedy).
I have had a few promising interactions with UK natives, only to realize later that there is a clear reason for the thaw in attitude, be it a permanent one (sympathy arising from living with a spouse who is also “not from around here”) or a temporary grace (unadulterated pity).
I dither at times as to whether it is a benefit or a curse that I speak American (and thus a form of English) since it presents a false sense of security on how different the cultures can be across the US-UK divide. I never meant to join the expats club; I meant to fit in seamlessly with my surroundings and English culture. I was an Anglophile even as a child, reading books that took place in London and demonstrating a strange fascination with Queen Victoria. I thought I would fit in perfectly here. As is (probably) often the case, I had no idea how this move was actually going to feel and how little I knew about the real lives of the locals.