what I know about england

25, January 2009

I’ve been to the UK twice in my life. Once to Manchester for Christmas and another just recently to London to scout for work.

Previous to that everything I learnt about England was from British TV. Or my dad.

Sid James

No my dad’s not Sid James but he is a pom.

Here are a few things that I’ve learnt so far in no particular order.

Queuethey like to queue

They’re an obedient race. If there’s a line at a counter, the bus stop or the emergency exit they’ll join it. Don’t believe me, a recent study surmised that more British  than American passengers died on the Titanic because they queued politely for the lifeboats.


dsc01026they drink like nobody’s business

I have to admit, I just can’t keep up. The English have this misguided notion that Australians know how to drink. I can tell you after being there and experiencing the English drinking culture first hand, they have it all over us.

They drinking drink at lunch, after work, watching the match, on the weekends, whenever. In most places it’s cheaper to buy a lager than it is a bottle of water. Up until recently the majority of pubs in the UK served final drinks at 11pm – making ‘half to’ the ritual three-drinks-a-piece final rush to the bar.

Until recently it was still legal to drink on public transport. On June 1st 2008, London’s new mayor, Boris Johnson, banned it outright. The rest of the country soon followed. How did people respond? By riding the tube the night before for one “Last Round on the Underground”.

Vodpod videos no longer available.


they rule the airwaves

For starters, the Brits pay a a television licensing fee (funding the BBC’s television, radio and interactive services) every year so you can imagine they want to get what they paid for. They’ve also grown up use to having their own culture reflected back at them through the telly.

On average the UK produces 27,000 hours of domestic TV content a year (that 520 hours a week) at a cost of 2.6 billion. This is about five times what Australia produces. Imports from the US, Europe and Australia do get a look in but are the exception to the rule.

Pad Thai

dsc01056eight dollar pad thai and ten buck taxi

In Australia we’re use to getting both pretty much anywhere. Now English food certainly isn’t as bad as it’s made out to be but by god it can be expensive. If you want to eat out and eat something fresh then it’s going to cost you.

Same goes for their legendary black cabs, they may have “the knowledge” to get anywhere in London but it will cost you. I quickly learnt that most people just take public transport or mini-cabs – the cheap alternative to London’s black cabs.

dsc00969meat – with jelly – served cold

A throw back to the 1800’s when there was a meat shortage and they used the jelly as a preservative to stop it going off.

Enough said.

So am I wrong?

Know something about England I don’t?

Feel free to let me know. All recommendations welcomed … including where to get a good pad thai.

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4 Responses to “what I know about england”

  1. Lesley Says:

    I have 4 words for you Brick Lane Beigel Bake ( http://tinyurl.com/dnca6o ). Actually I probably have more than 4 words but this are the first that pop into my mind.

  2. Cool! I love Beigels and Brick Lane. Thanks Lesley. Keep the suggestions coming.

  3. Amanda Says:

    Tuk Tuk in Old Compton Soho has really good Pad Thai and it is about £4 and I can never finish it. It also does a mean Laksa for when you are feeling homesick from Oz they are the place to go.

  4. Malcolm Says:

    You forgot the camera’s, apart from all of the famous CCTV ones, I will never forget the site of 13 different cameras all pointing the same way, watching the traffic mounted on a special support going over a ordinary street close to the city. Crazy!

    I can only guess that each TV station wanted it’s own camera for traffic reports, along with traffic and police departments.

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