Keep Calm and Rule Britannia

Disclaimer: If you’re English, easily offended or unable to take a joke it may be best if you stop reading this now.

Can I just say, I love the English!
Their default setting of forming an orderly queue as soon as more than two people are assembled. Their sweetness: “Mind the gap please.” Their constant need to complain (which my English friend explained “It’s not that we’re whiners, it’s just that we like talking and everything happens to be shit.”)

I love how all the desserts are called puddings and have names like spotted dick. I love that all the pubs have names like Badger’s Arse, the Vicar’s Cock and the Hairy Snatch (and before you ask, yes I went to all three.) And I love how adorable their justification and better yet, denial of the class system is. If you have second-class stamps, a monarchy, hereditary titles and use the nationality of your nanny as a social class marker, it may be time to admit to the class system.

But most of all, I love how the English speak English. I love that their initial response to every request is “Sorry”, like they’ve forgotten to deal with my request without possibly being able to pre-empt it. “Could you pass me that paper?”, “Oh sorry, here you go.” “Could you tell me where the bathrooms are?” “Oh, terribly sorry, first door on the right.” “Would you be so kind as to take your pants off and moon walk across the room whilst holding a milk crate above you head?” “Frightfully sorry, yes, just a moment, how dreadfully rude of me.”

I was in London for a week and I loved every moment of it. I wasn’t in London for the weather or the food though. I was in London exclusively for the pubs and the chat. Words like ‘knackered,’ ‘wankered’ and ‘twat’. Terms like ‘feeling poorly,’ ‘she’s a right nutter’ and ‘he’s a pompous git.’ I love that pants are ‘trousers’ and thongs are ‘flip flops.’ I love that the elderly are described using words like ‘barking,’ ‘batty,’ ‘bonkers,’ and ‘barmy’ and that’s just the b’s.

People don’t kiss, they ‘tash on’. The boys are ‘lads’, the girls are ‘birds’ and you’re not ‘attractive’ you’re ‘fit’. But most of all I love that you don’t get drunk you get ‘mortal’ and everything is ‘proper’ or ‘well;’ well good, well done and well right.

The typical tourist shot...

The typical tourist shot…

I love that there are so many incredible sights to see and how enriched in history England is. I love just how good the public transport system is (I think I spent half my time in London just riding the tube and getting excited every time I went past a Monopoly station). I love how despite the amazing public transport system, Londoners still find reasons to complain about it. I love that when I got off at Clapham Station there was an announcement: “The temperature is expected to be mid to high. Please take note of information on the platform posters and carry a bottle of water with you at all times. If you are feeling unwell, please approach a member of staff.” It was 23 degrees.

And I love the pubs. Boy oh boy did I love the pubs. “Fancy a pint” became music to my ears. And I can’t possibly write a post about London without mentioning ‘The Church’ (and the subsequent pilgrimage to the ‘Walkabout.’)
The Church: A fine establishment for a classy Sunday session.
It’s just unfortunate that it gets taken over by hundreds of drunk Australians in costumes every Sunday between the hours of 12 and 4 for a ‘piss up’ like no other. In the space of 4 hours I lost my dignity, self respect and any respect I had for my friends who encouraged the outing to The Church. Not to mention, my eyes have been irreparably scarred for life.

But amongst all the festivities, I do have one complaint to make about England. Everything I wanted to buy was double the price and then a bit more than I thought it would be. Oxford Street committed daylight robbery on my bank account to say the least. And this was made even worse by the English customer service mantra: ‘First-World prices; Third-World service’. But my complaint quickly gets countered by my love of English fashion.

Lie back and think of England? Don’t mind if I do.

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