So here I am standing on a train platform in what can only be described as monsoon like conditions with no wet weather protection. I am without; umbrella or jacket, waterproof or hat. Stood there between men and women with almighty great umbrellas, space in abundance but do they offer you space to shield a man currently more water than human? Do they hell. I put it down to another one of our wonderous and useless British quirks.
Quirks, traditions, habits or thingamyjigs whatever you call them the ideological doodads that make us British may seem quiant from the outside but really do frustrate me. The ones I struggle with the most are as follows:
Not talking on the underground.
The first time I travelled around London by myself I was about 18, old enough to think I know what I’m doing but young enough to not admit when I don’t. Anyway I arrived at Paddington Station with the aim of getting to Sloane Square, which is on the circle line, only problem is I got on the wrong way round the circle. What resulted was a thoroughly confused teenager getting off at Kings Cross and getting a rather expensive taxi. You’ll say why didn’t you ask for help? Well everyone had the headphones in or their heads in papers and out of the two people I asked one was Russian and spoke no English the other spoke with a East London accent but also said he spoke no English. I arrived half an hour late but because we are British and I’m a man I never would’ve admitted the error (until now…).
I hate football, let the blogosphere take note if this, yet as a British person I am always judged to not only know about it but to love it. I can step in any taxi around the world and when they ask you were you are from the second response is; “oh what football team do you support?” My response is usually to name an fictional team (I usually go with Bazford United) and hope that silences the footy talk.
I love tea. Guilty as charged on that one.
Great at Queuing
Let it never be said that we the British aren’t a paticent bunch. While at University I once watched in sheer pride at a group of about 200 drunk students patiently queuing to get into a night club; no shoving, no abusive language and most certainly no queue jumping just quiet reverence bottling it all up until they got inside. Where as when I arrived in India for the first time and tried to be British and stick to our proud tradition of queuing I ended up not getting on public transport as they all filled up with the crush of people ramming in while I waited incorrectly.
Inability to Complain.
When something goes wrong at a restaurant do you a) politely tell the waiter there is something wrong or b) eat the disgustingly undercooked chicken that will more than likely give you Salmonella? If you answered b) then you are probably British.
No being able to put up with any kind of weather.
Small talk is another thing we Brits are cracking at and the one that everyone resorts to in an awkward conversation is of course the weather. Wether it be too hot, too cold or anything inbetween we turn into a Goldilocks people never happy with whatever the weather.