Things I’ve learned about the British during my 2 weeks there:
The wet look is big.
A LOT of British dudes gel their hair. Now, nothing wrong with gelling your hair. But they ALL gel it the same way: they all look like they’ve dunk their hair in some wet soggy solution and then sort of bunch their hair up into a semi-mohawk-like fashion. To use a Thai phrase that I think describes this look most accurately, the rough translation is that they all look like dogs-fallen-into-the-water. (Note: The word “dogs” is not used in a derogatory way here, but used to describe what dogs really look like after they’ve gotten out of the water.)
Everything is lovely.
I am lovely (which I agree). The Incredible Hulk is lovely (which I do not agree). Dinner is lovely. The drinks are lovely. Your shirt is lovely. We are all lovely!
How ironic then, compared to the Americans, the British is certainly the less lovey-dovey type.
No one really says “bloody”.
From TV, I’ve concluded that the British always says bloody this and bloody that.
Arrrrgghh! My bloody arse!
But in my two weeks there, I’ve only heard it said once by a stranger on a sidewalk somewhere.
That’s it. A bit disappointing.
I mean, after all, I was looking to try and blend in by slapping some dude on the back and go, Ah! Aren’t we all just bloody lovely!
They always emphasize their British-ness.
You drink milk. The milk carton proudly proclaims that it’s BRITISH milk.
You eat ham. The sticker on the cling film makes sure you know that it’s BRITISH pork.
Go to the supermarket, and it’s always BRITISH this and BRITISH that.
I wish we can be just as proud of our Chinese products.
Imagine people emphasizing that products are made in China? Uh huh. Lovely.
The pub thing is bigger than you think.
When the local sandwich shop closes at 3 pm and EVERYTHING closes at 5:30 pm, you really wonder what the whole country does after work. Do they go home and sit and stare at the TV? Stare at each other? Where do they shop? How and when do they buy their groceries, run their errands, check out the latest music and shop for clothes?
Well, nevermind the shopping thing. Apparently, when the streets are deserted after hours (yes, I’m talking about 5:30 pm, not 11 pm), the entire country congregate at pubs. The pubs fill up so much that people are vomited out onto the streets. Where they all stand and talk. And talk. And talk.
Oh, and then the pubs close at 11 pm. Huh.
Ads on British TV is much more creative and entertaining.
Watch TV in Hong Kong, and you’d think we’re all a bunch of idiots staring with our mouths wide open dripping drool.
Ads here simply just tell you, and expect you to believe.
“This is the best cereal. Period.”
Whereas the British go out of their way to make their ads funny, entertaining, and memorable.
Some HK products have been running the exact same ads for 20 odd years. Where have our creative people gone?
British kids are much less obnoxious, while British teens are much more obnoxious.
The little kids there don’t seem to run around, scream in your ears and clamp their teeth down at your ankles.
However, in Hong Kong, you certainly see less of kids walking around in platform boots, thick mascara, mock-fight on trains, mug old ladies, stab each other and congregate at bus stops and ask passersby for alcohol.
Compared to the congested narrow mindset of the Hong Kong people, the British are much more open and accepting of differences in terms of fashion, life-styles, jobs, status and wealth.
Well, from just 2 weeks there anyways. Point to note is: I was on holiday mode.