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"The April rain, the April rain,
Comes slanting down in fitful showers,
Then from the furrow shoots the grain,
And banks are fledged with nestling flowers;
And in grey shawl and woodland bowers
The cuckoo through the April rain
Calls once again."

Mathilde Blind, April Rain
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What it's like to be British!

mheredgemheredge TeacherHere and therePosts: 31,042 mod
Is it just the British who do or say these things?

• Being unable to stand and leave without first saying “right”

• Not hearing someone for the third time, so just laughing and hoping for the best

• Saying “anywhere here’s fine” when the taxi’s directly outside your front door

• Being sure to start touching your bag 15 minutes before your station, so the person in the aisle seat is fully prepared for your exit

• Repeatedly pressing the door button on the train before it’s illuminated, to assure your fellow commuters you have the situation in hand

• Having someone sit next to you on the train, meaning you’ll have to eat your crisps at home
• The huge sense of relief after your perfectly valid train ticket is accepted by the inspector

• The horror of someone you only half know saying: “Oh I’m getting that train too”

• “Sorry, is anyone sitting here?” – Translation: Unless this is a person who looks remarkably like a bag, I suggest you move it

• Loudly tapping your fingers at the cashpoint, to assure the queue that you’ve asked for money and the wait is out of your hands

• Looking away so violently as someone nearby enters their PIN that you accidentally dislocate your neck

• Waiting for permission to leave after paying for something with the exact change

• Saying hello to a friend in the supermarket, then creeping around like a burglar to avoid seeing them again

• Watching with quiet sorrow as you receive a different haircut to the one you requested

• Being unable to pay for something with the exact change without saying “I think that’s right”

• Overtaking someone on foot and having to keep up the uncomfortably fast pace until safely over the horizon

• Being unable to turn and walk in the opposite direction without first taking out your phone and frowning at it

• Deeming it necessary to do a little jog over zebra crossings, while throwing in an apologetic mini wave

• Punishing people who don’t say thank you by saying “you’re welcome” as quietly as possible

• The overwhelming sorrow of finding a cup of tea you forgot about

• Turning down a cup of tea for no reason and instantly knowing you’ve made a terrible, terrible mistake

• Suddenly remembering your tea and necking it like a massive, lukewarm shot

• Realising you’ve got about fifty grand’s worth of plastic bags under your kitchen sink

• “You’ll have to excuse the mess” – Translation: I’ve spent seven hours tidying in preparation for your visit

• Indicating that you want the last roast potato by trying to force everyone else to take it

• “I’m off to bed” – Translation: “I’m off to stare at my phone in another part of the house”

• Mishearing somebody’s name on the second time of asking, meaning you must now avoid them forever

• Leaving it too late to correct someone, meaning you must live with your new name forever

• Running out of ways to say thanks when a succession of doors are held for you, having already deployed ‘cheers’, ‘ta’ and ‘nice one’

• Changing from ‘kind regards’ to just ‘regards’, to indicate that you’re rapidly reaching the end of your tether

• Staring at your phone in silent horror until the unknown number stops ringing

• Hearing a recording of your own voice and deciding it’s perhaps best never to speak again

• The relief when someone doesn’t answer their phone within three rings and you can hang up

• Filming an entire fireworks display on your phone, knowing full well you’ll never, ever watch it again

Comments

  • VokVok Posts: 535 ✭✭✭
    Brilliant @mheredge . I've recognised myself in most of these.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 6,698 mod
    It's amazing at the number of things that I do. I wasn't really aware that they were "British" as such, as they all just seem to be completely normal to me!
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,042 mod
    edited April 13
    :D Maybe you're a covert Brit @Vok! Or maybe Brits are just like everybody else in the world.
  • jackelliotjackelliot Posts: 814 OTT
    @mheredge

    Patience perhaps is a virtue of the British.

    abroad I often observe impatience around

    whilst I remain calm in the same situation.

    jackelliot.over-blog.com/2018/04/patience.html
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 6,698 mod

    @mheredge



    Patience perhaps is a virtue of the British.



    abroad I often observe impatience around



    whilst I remain calm in the same situation.



    jackelliot.over-blog.com/2018/04/patience.html

    I'm not sure patience is always the norm with Brits though, as I certainly know a lot of people who are very impatient about lots of things.
  • jackelliotjackelliot Posts: 814 OTT
    British are famous for their queues

    @GemmaRowlands



    “An Englishman, even if he is alone, forms an orderly queue of one.”
    ― George Mikes

    patience is needed for a queue?

    .
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,042 mod
    They say (whoever 'they' are) that patience is a virtue. I have to say @jackelliot, I am not at all virtuous!
  • jackelliotjackelliot Posts: 814 OTT
    @mheredge

    I am sure you have many virtues

    .
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,042 mod
    Maybe, but patience isn't one of them @jackelliot.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 6,698 mod

    British are famous for their queues



    @GemmaRowlands







    “An Englishman, even if he is alone, forms an orderly queue of one.”

    ― George Mikes



    patience is needed for a queue?



    .

    Yes, you do need to be patient. Though our patience can be tested a lot by queues. The longest queue I have been in was 6 hours long.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,042 mod
    @jackelliot: 'Patience is a virtue. Possess it if you can. Seldom in a woman, never in a man.' (Jonathan Morris)

  • jackelliotjackelliot Posts: 814 OTT
    @mheredge i so agree with you,
  • Shiny03Shiny03 Posts: 2,882 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Interesting!:D

    I found one thing which is the British love tea sooo much. Is it including men as well?
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,042 mod
    Oh yes @Shiny03, especially workmen who usually drink big mugs of tea with lots of sugar!
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 6,698 mod
    Shiny03 said:

    Interesting!:D

    I found one thing which is the British love tea sooo much. Is it including men as well?

    I would say that the men I know drink even more tea than women. My partner would drink tea all day if I let him - but I try to get him to drink plain water every so often too!
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 897 ✭✭✭
    I understand the British love for tea, I probably have six or seven cups a day, including with every of the meals.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,042 mod
    You're right @GemmaRowlands. I think women tend to drink more coffee than guys. But when I'm at home I must drink at least as much tea as coffee.

    Do you have your tea with milk @Practical_Severard? I don't drink so much green tea (I never add milk to this), but usually drink tea with milk - except if it's made from Lipton tea bags!
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 897 ✭✭✭
    edited April 19
    > @mheredge said:
    > Do you have your tea with milk @Practical_Severard? I don't drink so much green tea (I never add milk to this), but usually drink tea with milk - except if it's made from Lipton tea bags!

    No, milk isn't exactly compatible with my digestion. I usually add neither milk no sugar. I also drink tisanes, like camomile or willowherb, though the best is the rose hip tea, the difference is that it must be left brewing in a thermos flask for two hours.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 6,698 mod

    > @mheredge said:

    > Do you have your tea with milk @Practical_Severard? I don't drink so much green tea (I never add milk to this), but usually drink tea with milk - except if it's made from Lipton tea bags!



    No, milk isn't exactly compatible with my digestion. I usually add neither milk no sugar. I also drink tisanes, like camomile or willowherb, though the best is the rose hip tea, the difference is that it must be left brewing in a thermos flask for two hours.

    There are other kinds of milk that you can try, such as almond milk and coconut milk. Have you ever tried those? I am not sure if they are available where you live, but they could be a good alternative.
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 897 ✭✭✭
    edited April 19
    > @GemmaRowlands said:
    > There are other kinds of milk that you can try, such as almond milk and coconut milk. Have you ever tried those? I am not sure if they are available where you live, but they could be a good alternative.

    No, I haven't. The thing is that my stomach is indifferent to milk, and it has been so since my childhood, but I value the taste of a good tea. I eat fermented dairy products, though. The nut milk you've mentioned is available here, though it's expensive, equals cheap wine, though not the cheapest.
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 897 ✭✭✭
    edited April 19
    @jackelliot said:
    > British are famous for their queues
    > patience is needed for a queue?
    @GemmaRowlands
    @mheredge

    I think we need to consider the two situations:

    1. Are Brits patient when the situation is a 'fair play' one?
    2. Are they patient if they think their rights are being infringed?

    My 'British sterotypes' book suggests doing this.
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 897 ✭✭✭
    edited April 19
    Is this a true sketch of the British queues:

    An Englishman who goes into a shop […] will wait until he’s noticed, until he’s ‘addressed directly’. However many people are crowding around the counter, an assistant will only attend one at a time. And if some busy housewife is buying in a week supply of food […] there’s no point her butting in during a brief pause to ask whether there is any liver for sale. You may simply want to know whether it is worth standing and waiting. But you will get no reply.

    When, on the other hand, your turn finally comes, you can take all the time in the world to choose your piece of liver, and to chat with the butcher about his dachshund puppies, and the change in the weather, and the rest of the local news. And no one waiting behind you will show the slightest impatience or irritation. For everyone waiting is not only to buy something, but also to receive the full attention of the shopkeeper.
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 897 ✭✭✭
    [...]If you happen to stay in Paris after several years in Britain you are at first quite taken aback to find that nobody notices you. [...] and only then do you realise that a French waiter has to be hailed with a demand fot 'two beers, monsieur!'
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,042 mod
    There's a lot of truth in what you say @Practical_Severard except I think it also applies just as well to French shopkeepers. I don't know how many times I've been stuck behind someone who is relating their life story when I've been in a hurry, maybe with just one item I want to buy. Then they get very affronted if you give up, abandoning your place in the queue with the excuse that you have to dash.

    I'm not sure if Brits like queuing any more than anyone else. I think that generally in shops at least, they are more polite than some people, but if you'd ever seen how they behaved catching an easyjet flight in the old days when seats weren't allocated on their planes, you'd have seen a right old rugby scrum, pushing and shoving that would make you think it was the last flight out of town @jackelliot.
  • VokVok Posts: 535 ✭✭✭
    @Practical_Severard @mheredge
    I find it very irritating when someone in front of me in a queue is starting telling his tale of woe to a shopkeeper. I don't think you can hear me tutting so loudly and repeatedly in any other situation.
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 897 ✭✭✭
    > @Vok said:
    > @Practical_Severard @mheredge
    > I find it very irritating when someone in front of me in a queue is starting telling his tale of woe to a shopkeeper. I don't think you can hear me tutting so loudly and repeatedly in any other situation.

    I wouldn't be happy either. To be remaining patient one needs to be British.
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