It’s been a bit of a tough time to be British recently. Well, specifically since 23 June 2016, when the Referendum on continued membership of the EU opened up a huge split in the public which has become steadily nastier with time.
Leavers versus Remainers, insults being flung both ways, in-fighting on both sides. A lot of it has not been pretty, no matter what side of the fence you sit on.
So it’s a good time to be reminded that, actually we Brits aren’t so bad - and all it took was a little foreign perspective.
Someone posted the question “Why should I never visit Britain?” on the ‘knowledge site’ quora.com, and Industrial Designer Chris Ebbert, a Swede who has lived and worked in Canada, the US, UK, New Zealand, India, China and Germany, and currently works for the Swedish government, decided to answer it in a rather glorious fashion.
Why should I never visit Britain?
1. Because your expectations in breakfast will get warped for the rest of your life. Ever since visiting the UK, I have been entirely unable to accept a breakfast that does not contain bacon, eggs, and sausages. Nothing compares to Full English Breakfast.
2. You will lose your ability to shrug off discourteous behaviour, because the people in Britain tend to be so polite in professional contexts.
3. It is the only place in the world where a supermarket cashier will refer to you as “love.” The world just isn’t entirely the same after that.
4. You will never laugh at your home country’s comedians again, because in Britain, everybody is so much funnier than even the best comedians any other country has to offer. I was laughing my head off the first year on my job in England. They are absolutely hysterical there.
5. You will eventually come around to realising that deep fried things and alcohol are things everyone needs lots of, every day. It will make perfect sense. I left Britain a year ago, and am still working off many kilos of joy I had there.
6. You will eventually stop wearing warm clothes and just walk around in shirts. Who knows why, but nobody is ever cold in Britain. Even when it’s cold.
7. Your expectation in used car prices will be completely turned around. In England, you can get lovely used cars for three-digit prices. I’ve had Volvos, Jaguars, Saabs… cheap as chips.
8. You’ll start liking it too much, and stay. I believe this is how London can be explained. That, and the fact that it seems impossible to get out of London, if you’ve ever tried.
Chris, who has lectured at Salford University, Manchester University, and most recently at Nottingham Trent University, clearly understands the British - and clearly also understands what driving in London is like.
Needless to say, the answers went down very well, with Claire Jordan accurately commenting: “#5 explains #6.”
Meanwhile, Matt Hudson added: “Plus of course clotted cream, fresh cream cakes and pies and puddings after every meal.
“Don’t go. Your cardiovascular system will thank you. Your tastebuds will never know what they missed.”
Breakfast, cakes, comedy, booze, not feeling the cold and shocking transport. If that’s not a legacy to be proud of, then we don’t know what is.