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Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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Life in the UK: A Journey to Citizenship evaluated. [20090528|13:24]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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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".
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: chickenfeet2003
2009-05-28 13:26 (UTC)
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.

I can say "Cuidado cuidado cuidado Llamas". I reckon that'll do for Peru.
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[User Picture]From: saltdawg
2009-05-28 13:59 (UTC)
These entries are wicked funny.

I disagree with you on the Scottish issue, however, considering that that I come from a long line of scottish drunks my view on the mater may be a bit myopic. The part that gets me about some of these questions (#5, #10) are also quite accurate for NEW England as well.
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[User Picture]From: anthrokeight
2009-05-28 15:51 (UTC)
The problem with this one is, if you're living in Scotland, either answer can equally acceptable. Noting the drunkness of the population is sometimes linked, I have noticed, to whether or not you are in one of the less breathtakingly beautiful parts of the country.

For example: unwittingly (and foolishly) in the city centre when an Old Firm game is getting going. Or, on a sidewalk in a party district on a Saturday morning, or possibly worse, in the close of a tenement on a Saturday morning. Urgh... sidewalk contents...

Similarly, it's an issue of context to whom you say these things. To an English person? Probably not wise, unless they are your friends and have lived in Scotland for a while (see: how do you know you have friends?). To your housemate when you come back with shopping squished by Celtic/ Rangers fans? Probably ok.

[Note if you're an Old Firm fan, you find other reasons to comment on the drunkenness of Scots. I merely choose this example after having lived 'round the corner from Celtic stadium and worked 'round the corner from Rangers.]

It's kind of like, you can complain about your sister to your brother, but you don't want to hear your cousin bitch about your sister to you, if you see what I mean.

I suppose the trick, were you to be taking this exam, is to know if you're choosing the answer that [ed: is most like a citizen's] or if you're choosing YOUR answer to the question.

Additionally, this is why I avoid survey design if I can help it; I do this to my own question. [ETA: and also is probably a good example of Scottish-esque nitpickery when it comes to the crucial difference between the Scotland-UK as opposed to England-UK]

Edited at 2009-05-28 03:56 pm (UTC)
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From: pbristow
2009-05-28 15:52 (UTC)
Darn! I could've sworn the answer to number 10 was option (c).

No wonder I don't have any friends. =:o{
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From: pbristow
2009-05-28 22:12 (UTC)
BTW, *everyone* got number 4 wrong. A Quango is a tango in a quagmire. =:o}

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[User Picture]From: anthrokeight
2009-05-28 15:57 (UTC)
This has been really very funny to read.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-06-01 15:04 (UTC)
I aim to please!
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[User Picture]From: returntosender
2009-05-28 17:30 (UTC)
I quibble with number 5. We all love a good hangover competition!

Thanks for the pen! x
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-06-01 15:08 (UTC)
You're welcome!
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[User Picture]From: sekl
2009-05-28 18:06 (UTC)
I've been to Scotland. I stand by my answer for number 8. The countryside is beautiful, but the Scots can drink any Brit under the table any day of the week.
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[User Picture]From: opheliablue
2009-05-28 19:33 (UTC)
Och aye, ye british fowk cannae hauld yer bevvy an aw as us scottish fowk. it is probably wa we bide longer - we ur weel preserved in kergo. actually, ah dunnae kinn if we bide longer, but it soonded guid momentarily.
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[User Picture]From: opheliablue
2009-05-28 19:50 (UTC)
hola
adiós
agradece
cogida
de las aclamaciones

I consider myself European, but I think the rail service is rather frightful ;)

Hey, how about this weather? One minute it's sunny, the next it's raining blahblahsnowblahblahwindblahrainblah
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-06-01 15:12 (UTC)
Today was just like that. Except for the snow.
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[User Picture]From: girl_onthego
2009-05-29 04:38 (UTC)
I TAKE ISSUE.

On the basis that the questions where I disagree, I disagree precisely BECAUSE those are the questions answered oppositely by the natives and myself, an honorary scotswoman.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-06-01 15:14 (UTC)
Of the Scots I know, a reasonable number are light drinkers or teetotal, and find that stereotype objectionable.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-06-01 15:15 (UTC)
Fortunately, Glasgow is not Scotland, in the same way that London is not England!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-06-01 15:16 (UTC)
Yes, I remember you posting about it. I love it there too.
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