Thursday, July 20, 2006

Observations from a Small Island

Ok, bit of a cliche but I've been back in the UK for a week and a half now and here, in no particular order, are the things that strike me. Apologies for the fact that some of them are almost certainly well documented but, hey, this is my blog so live with it.

1) British People are tremendously fat. OK, not every single one but there are an awful lot of very fat people here. The fact that people in China are typically both thin and small highlights this tremendously. An add-on to that is that clearly many obese people must have distorting mirrors at home or they wouldn't wear the clothes they do with fat bellies protruding from under crop tops and rolls of fat poking out from sleeveless shirt armholes.

2) There are now a huge number of people from Eastern Europe in the UK. Not surprisingly the retail and hospitality industries seem to be snapping them up because they're probably far higher quality employees than the average Brit that applies. They also seem to be a large part of the "not fat" population.

3) British people are really quite unpleasant. We travelled in the first class seats of a train up to London but could hardly see out because someone had scrawled on the glass. Now, you do se graffiti in China but it's normally actually a sort of 'fly advertising' where people scrawl a couple of characters and a phone number - nothing like the mindless scrawling and tagging you get from louts in the UK who just want the place to look terrible.

4) ... And can be quite stupid. There's a motorway bridge over the M25 where someone has painted, in huge letters, PEAS - I assume this is in the same vein as the graffiti I saw from the M6 which read "WORLD PEAS NOW"

5) ...And filthy. YY had previously thought that the UK would be very clean. Walking through the centre of Leeds just after the shops closed yesterday dispelled that myth - small whirlwinds of litter were moving around on the filthy pavements covered in ice cream, ketchup and gum.

6) British food is great. By that, I mean I have eaten Indian, Lebanese, "Mediterranean", Italian, American, etc. The range of flavours on offer is superb. YY does hold that the exact oposite is true, however.

7) British driving is great - so relaxing not to have to try to predict who's going to change lanes on the motorway without indicating and for no reason. Or when the next car is going to drive up the motorway the wrong way. It all conforms to a system. Lovely.


HistoryElephant said...

I'm sure that the usual British response to these gripes would be to say, "if you don't like it, why don't you go back to your own country".

JP said...

Quite right.

Cold enough for ya, skinny?

DB said...

Searching for the words "Peas motorway bridge" turns out to be the fifth most popular search that brings people to this site. I assume that most people are as mystified as I am or maybe they have their own theories. It would be nice if some of these visitors would share their thoughts.