Since this blog is dubbed Culture and Arts, it might be time to write not only about the Culture of Culture, but the Culture of a country.
Now that I’m living in the UK again I’m being reminded everyday of what a peculiar and lovable people the Britons are.
First of all – I love Britain, and I love the Brits (I sometimes wish I was one of them, but then again… well, it all has its ups and downs).
But the things I love the most are the British traditions and their behaviour. It’s mostly a politeness issue – how can you not think of someone as kind when they say ‘Thanks’ to the bus driver when they get off (leave alone the queuing for the bus – it’s not a myth, they really do. And I think it’s marvellous.)?
Seldom have I encountered such honest interest in my origin (‘Ah, Germany – I’ve been there, it’s been so wonderful / I’d really like to go there, I’ve heard so many nice things about it / can you describe what it’s like to live there etc etc.) without prejudices. Some people might not like it, or think of it as ‘superficial’ or unreal, but I do think of it as simply decent and attentive when I step on someone’s foot and THEY say sorry. Also, I love being called ‘dear’, ‘sweety’ or ‘darling’ whenever someone gives me advice or asks me if I’d like a cup of tea. Tea! One of Britain’s most wonderful things – there’s nothing quite like the first cuppa that you enjoy once you’ve touched down in Heathrow or wherever… making tea is an art here. In my office, someone always gets the tea for everyone (usually about twice a day) and I would really like to do that too – but I am too shy and too scared to fail at this ‘simple’ task. Because I simply cannot remember who likes his tea with only one lump of sugar, or two, with milk or without, or a mixture of all options?! (I take mine with some milk, no sugar, please, in case you were wondering)
Besides tea, there are many, many delightful specialities food-wise (even if you heard differently – and I know you have). Britain’s food culture is not so different from ours, when it comes to traditional dishes. It’s as greasy and unhealthy as German Haxe, believe me. But when it comes to dessert and sweet stuff – my goodness, I would chomp away all day on Custard (something in between vanilla sauce and vanilla pudding), trifle (need I say more?!), crumble (like Streuselkuchen, but with fruit instead of the Kuchen), crumpets, scones… oh good grief, I could go on like this forever. But the nub and gist of this is that the Island’s food isn’t as bad as we think it is.
And then there’s this relaxed atmosphere. It’s not Mr. Sheffield I’m talking to, but simply Max (these names are made up), even though he is my boss. I didn’t have to fill out 300 forms to finally get a work experience placement here, but I simply sent an e-mail, which was promptly answered with a cheerful, informative promise. I do like that, I really do.
You can probably say that about lots of country, but somehow, England seems special to me. It makes me kind of realise what I miss in Germany. But then, I think I quite like the German punctuality and everyone who knows me, knows that I hate CHAOS. Here, it’s ‘alright, darling’ when the train is about to leave in 10 minutes and we’re still home. Well… for me I can definitely say that I’d like to have two nationalities. And yes, I’m pretty much okay with the weather (because it hasn’t rained since my arrival – yet ;P)
EDIT: I HAVE indeed now successfully made tea for the office :D That’s because I had to. It didn’t go too bad and I am now aware of another option: soy milk.