When it comes to blogging about an international relocation to London, the last place I’d have thought to find inspiration would be Disney / Pixar’s film, Cars 2! But lo and behold, as I made my transatlantic flight back to England from the United States after Christmas, this in-flight movie triggered heightened interest during its climactic later scenes set in London. Consistent with the cleverness and cuteness of Pixar films was “Big Bentley,” where the British secret agent cars nearly met their demise. Anyone who has visited London may be readily familiar with the landscape containing prominent sites like St. Paul’s Cathedral, Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge, and modern structures like the London Eye and Gherkin office building. And after moving to London and living here a while, I even saw some side streets of familiarity and could vouch for the accuracy of the city’s layout.

What I could further relate to were the lyrics of Brad Paisley and Robbie Williams’s “Collision of Worlds,” which played at the movie’s end. I’m frequently blogging about cultural differences between the US and UK, including the language barrier that actually exists within the common tongue of English. Expats making a relocation to London might not always anticipate such differences, and I think the song captures it adorably:

At the first sign of the morning light, Old Glory’s in the sky
Across the pond, it’s afternoon and the Union Jack flies high
We’re on our first cup of coffee
We’re on our third cup of tea
And we can’t pretend to live on different planets, you and me

In this collision of worlds
Watch the new day dawn on a distant shore
In this collision of worlds
Oh you can’t sit this out no more

Abbey Road, Route 66, CIA, to the MI6
Right lane, left lane, Metric, Imperial
Pounds, dollars, howdy, cheerio!
A v8 growls, to a v12 screams
Hail to the chief, God Save the Queen
Cops, bobbies, tabasco, wasabi, pistachio ice cream!

In this collision of worlds
Well it’s too late and you can’t stop it now
In this collision of worlds
Yeah find you a place and just watch it now

Well you’re a good ole’ boy
Yeah you’re a decent bloke
I say it’s irony, I say it’s a joke
When I look around, now I can see
We ain’t so different, you and me

Meat and potatoes, bangers and mash
Dollars, pounds, dosh, cash
Autobahn, to the rising sun
The I10, to the M1
Congress, Parliment, President, The Queen!
Petrol, you say gasoline
Now grab your bird, and get your girl
Now its a small world

Collison of worlds
Watch the new day dawn on a distant shore
In this collision of worlds
No you can’t sit this out no more
In this collision of worlds
It’s too late and you can’t stop it now
Collision of worlds
Find you a place and watch it now

If you’re moving to London from the US, your worlds will collide and merge into a bigger and brighter world of understanding—and it’s then that you’ll find people around the world really aren’t so different from each other after all.

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