Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Watching The English

David recommended Watching The English a few months ago and I have only now started to read it. Vol mentioned it a few posts back regarding the landmines an unsuspecting foreigner could get into while discussing the weather with a Brit. Reading it, I immediately see things that I have done terribly wrong according to this book. Things like shake someone's hand with confidence and introduce myself. Apparently that isn't done. It is also considered rude to ask what people do or where they live. Such land mines. Areas I have down almost as if I was from here, the invisible queuing at the pub and the pantomime with the publican, the please and thank you's when exchanging money, saying sorry when someone bumps into you and never speaking or looking at others if you can help it on public transportation. The longer I am here, the more I feel part of it, yet also further away from it, from the culture. Does that make sense? The more I know, the more I know I don't know type of thing. . .

2 Comments:

At 4/19/2006 10:08:00 PM, Blogger Scott E D said...

I love your posts about your transition to the UK.

In LA it took me about a year to realize that if you yell at people they won’t deal with you, here they just yell back and no one gets upset.

Here is you cut someone off you’re offended if you don’t get the middle finger. There if you give some the finger they will surely try to run you off of the road.

Here, Plaid? Everything is plaid. There, Plaid? That’s so last season.

 
At 4/20/2006 07:27:00 AM, Blogger Vol Abroad said...

my husband had to learn the hard way that you don't raise your voice, don't act upset, when dealing with those with petty authority in the US. They will refuse to deal, they will stone cold stare you.

Here, when I remain calm in such situations, the Brits assume I don't really care, and go on to the person who's pitching a fit.

 

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