May 28th, 2009

mizuno: lil naughty

Life in the UK: A Journey to Citizenship evaluated.

I have been asked to clarify the correct answers to my previous poll. I shall attempt, therefore, to justify what I consider to be the correct answers.

  1. False. I recognise that my friends list is composed primarily of progressive, global-citizen types and Americans, and that some of you manage to be both. However, I also recognise that you lot are not representative of the population of Britain. Most British people admit, under varying degrees of pressure/intoxication, that they do not think of Britain as part of Europe. The ones that do, I generally find fulfill one or all of the following conditions: (a) They are very young. (b) They vote Lib Dem. (c) They spent a significant portion of their formative years in Switzerland/France/Holland/somewhere that is not Britain.

  2. Both. This is slightly unfair, but I have been burned enough by post-bank holiday weekend travel to be bitter about the inability of rail network managers to comprehend that they cannot get their engineers to perform 96 hours of work in 72 hours.

  3. Rather good. The over-the-top answer only works if you're being facetious and you're actually already British. I don't fulfill the second condition, so I have to go with the safely understated answer.

  4. Both. Yes yes, I know only the first one is technically correct, but the second one ought to be. It's a portmanteau! Lewis Carroll! Clever wordplay! All very British. I rest my case.

  5. Never, ever mention it again. You may be able to get away with some oblique remark about needing a fry-up, an ibuprofen or a Bloody Mary, but otherwise, it is not generally polite to discuss your hangover unless you wake up in the same bed as the previous night's drinking partner(s).

  6. Page 3. There are gratuitous boobs in many places in the UK, but the easiest way to get them is to walk to one of the ubiquitous newsstands and pay 25p for a copy of The Sun. Getting to Newcastle takes hours for most of the population, including the Geordies themselves, a suspicious quantity of whom don't seem to live there any more, probably because they were pushed out by the boobs.

  7. Weather. This is the only topic I would consider to be truly universal. There are plenty of people who have little interest in football, such as the Imperial College Physics Department and the population of Wales. I doubt that many outside London are as obsessed with the functionality of the tube and buses as Londoners.

  8. 5 million. Yes, it's funny to say that the Scots are drunk, but I think that does them and their breathtakingly beautiful country an ill turn. This is, after all, a "Life in the UK" test, not a "Life in England" test.

  9. True. Okay, for most UK citizens, this is probably false. However, despite living here for five years, I cannot accept that this is in any way justifiable or appropriate behaviour. If you are going to visit a non-English-speaking country, you should at least be able to say hello, thank you, goodbye, cheers and possibly a rude word or two in their language.

  10. You don't. When people from back home ask if I've made good friends here, I usually answer with a cautious, "Well, I think so..." But I'd never mention it to any of the people I actually consider to be friends here, analyse the terms or formation of our friendship, or (heaven forbid) name their names. The embarrassment that would cause them would be acute, and might result in the termination of said friendship. I'll take a slight risk here and reveal that the only reason I'm sure that the bloke likes me is that he keeps calling me "Sweet Tits".