Tuesday, January 03, 2006


Today is officially the most miserable day of the year in the UK. It is the first day back at work for most of the country and everyone is worse for wear after weeks of overeating and overspending.

I, however, am putting on a brave face.

I have just finished reading 'Watching the English' and I am now looking at life in the UK very differently.

The book was only so-so, treading shaky ground between humourous and academic writing.

But it prompted me to make a decision. From now on I will look at England like any other foreign country I have spent time in. I will endeavour to find the differences intriguing instead of annoying.

Because of this I will be calm about the furniture store that gave me an incomplete bookshelf and then took a month to produce the missing piece. I will amuse myself by contemplating the sofa that we still don't have three months after purchase. When I next call them I will remind myself that this is England where people expect things not to work. When they say, 'I'll just put you through to someone who can help' and the call rings out (again) I will merely say, 'typical!' and smirk.

Meanwhile, I made the exciting discovery today that I can walk home from work in an hour. Even in drizzly rain, I enjoyed myself and I've set my alarm to wake up early tomorrow. Anything to avoid the underground. It's amazing that the world's most expensive underground rail system can be so slow and dirty. Typical!


dimsumdolly said...

drastic change from the efficiency in places like HK and SG huh? i think i'd go crazy in England then. the impatient being that i am!

joe said...

You'd also be dying to correct people's language when you asked for something in a shop and got 'doh do dose'.

Frau Schinkeldinkeleinmeister said...

Vat? You only haff to go back to verk on ze force off chanuary and you are complaining?

Hier in Chermany vee vent to werk on ze second off chanuary. No publik holiday for ze Chermans! Vee are all hard-verking people! (But maybe its becauss ze employers are chust ferry stinchy...)

Vee also do not understand vat is meant by "serfice". Vee like to be rood to our kustomers. Maybe vee haff more in kommon viss ze english dan vee sort!

joe said...

Welcome Frau S.! I love your accent... I hope you will appear here regularly!