With the recent St. George’s day, it has got me thinking about what it means to be British. Well, I suppose I mean English, but who’s counting? There are just some things that are just typically British and sometimes, can be hard to explain to outsiders.
I’m always reminded of a few of those things when you land back in the UK from an airport from a sunny country. The Brits are the ones still in their ‘holiday’ clothes. Quite often it features an England football shirt and trainers without any socks on. The complaints about the weather, the sunburn and the muttering about the length of the passport control queue. At least there is a queue, though. Anyone tries to push in front of you and they’ll get a long, hard stare. Perhaps a ‘tut’ if you’re feeling a little bit wild. Makes you glad to be home, right?
You know you’re British when your mum use to answer the phone reciting your phone number. Why didn’t she just say hello? It’s like that time when your dog barked during the Remembrance Day two minute silence. You were the only one at home with them but you couldn’t be any more embarrassed.
You know you’re British when someone asks you for a cigarette lighter and you apologise for not smoking. Either you apologise or you reply with ‘I don’t, I’m afraid’. Why are the British walking around scared all the time? Afraid of what? The being polite just doesn’t stop. Hands up who has ever thanked a parking warden right after they have given them a ticket. Guilty.
You know you’re British when you are indifferent to Marmite. I can take it or leave it. When shopping and someone at the supermarket is shopping right where you want to look. So you just pretend to look a few bits that aren’t on your list. You know you’re British when you are in line to pay at the Marks & Spencer’s food shop. That line just moves far too quickly; you need time to decide which Percy Pigs you want, right? Then when you have got to the cashier and you didn’t bring your plastic bags. Everyone chimes in about how they remember theirs. That or you just struggle out with your shopping in your arms.
You know you’re British when you care confused by the phrase ‘what’s up’? What do you reply to that? I avoid going into Hollister, just to avoid that awkward encounter. Also, arriving at a roundabout at the same time as everyone from all the other directions. Talk about awkward…
You know you’re British when your hairdresser asks if you’re happy with your hair cut. You respond by saying you’re super happy with it. You’re not (plus, you would never use the word super in an actual sentence).