Sunday, 23 November 2014

British enthusiasm

Personally, I love me a good oxymoron, but saying that the title was one would be mean.

Because if there's one thing in the world I for some reason hold very dear to my heart, it's britishness.
I do realise that this doesn't really make much sense for the next person, and especially when looking at the foregone by-election I understand why people would start to question if "britishness" is such a good thing after all, but... If you look at how one of the most powerful countries in the world - well, the empire, really - could become such a lovely, quirky nation, that is most well-known for its fictional characters and knitting patterns, then sorry, I can't really find it in me not to love it.

And all of this, although I'm very rarely exposed to Brits in action. Which is why it is a little hard for me to describe what it is about Britain in detail, but bare with me, I'll try.

My exposures to 'proper Brits':
My flatmate. There's the one who is just it. The one who cherishes tea like ambrosia and raises her eyebrows at my "caffeine addiction". (One cup of coffee a day is not the end of the world. I think.)
The one you can have chats about Remembrance and how cute the Queen is with. (The Queen is pretty cute though.) The one you'd always turn to if you just don' understand how something works in this country.

The old gent on the tube. There is literally always this one guy who reads the evening standard like it's the bible, or holds like it's his shield that will eventually prevent him from forming any kind of relation to anyone around him. This guy is usually around 50 and wears "the British cap". (Like the cabbie in the first Sherlock episode does. You know the likes. Just google British cap. Trust me.)

This one guy from my seminar who complains about everything. And the funny thing is, there's one in all of my seminars, although they're not the same person. I always thought Germans were bad when it came to complaining, and that a German person couldn't be happy until there was something off they could complain about. Now this is probably true - but this kind of British person can't exist without anything to complain about. I just dropped in a conversation once that I would consider working as a barista - and I got to hear the most hilarious 15 minute rant about snotty coffee drinkers.

Which is why the certain characteristics I listed above are the only 'typically British things' I can think of at the moment, and probably the only ones you'll encounter when you choose to study here. I mean, sometimes you sense the much-rumoured traditionalism, but then again... isn't everyone at least a bit proud of where they came from?

And to come back to British enthusiasm - I always thought this to be an oxymoron.
That was clearly before I was introduced to the Great British Bake-Off.

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