The previous post in this series was poking fun at my own country, the USA. This of course now grants me free rein to poke fun at my adopted country, the UK.
There is much more a sense of national consciousness here than in the US, probably because it’s a smaller country. For example, did you know there is a national paint colour? It’s called Magnolia and is the all-purpose, inoffensive, go-to colour to paint everywhere, similar to taupe in the US.
It’s also the bane of interior designers and DIY show presenters who push people to be “edgy” and to “go outside their comfort zone.” Oh, we’ll just stick with Magnolia they say…
Chocolate is another facet of the British national consciousness.
Britons universally revere Cadbury’s and will happily have lengthy debates about the merits of different chocolates. Cadbury’s vs. Galaxy. Minstrels vs. Rolos. Dairymilk Buttons vs. Dairymilk Freddos.
Britons also universally agree that Hershey’s is rubbish. I am endeavouring to change this one Kiss at a time.
British social customs are another part of the national consciousness that has been well documented. Think “stiff upper lip,” “mind the gap,” queuing etiquette and the like.
However I have found that British politeness is a bonafide phenomenon, verging on an extreme sport.
Extreme in that politely assuming you’re in the wrong and apologising is the universal response for all social situations in the UK.
For instance, one day I ran into a neighbour in the mailbox room of our building. I said ‘Hiya’, she said ‘Sorry’…
Etiquette on public transport gets murkier. From what I can tell, when you sit down on the bus, say ‘Sorry’. When you get up from your seat, say ‘Sorry’. Like I said it’s the universal response.
I’m very sorry if I have offended anyone with this post. In fact I’m sorry for writing it in the first place. I’ll also apologise in advance for my next post of even more expat stand up.