I might be living in Dubai at the moment but that doesn’t stop me loving my home country, England. From the ridiculously bipolar weather conditions to drinking a whole lot of tea – there are so many things that I think have become by default British traditions and stereotypes. Other Brits mights disagree, but I think around the world these things immediately come to mind when people think about Britain or should I perhaps say, London. Let me know if you think of something different when you think of Britain, and be on the look out for my own list of what makes Britain, Britain to me.
1 A Full English Breakfast
Oh boy, where do I even start? A Full English is heaven on a chipped china plate. It’s ingredients apparently should be enjoyed together: (although I have reservations about the tomatoes, of all things)
Scrambled, fried or poached eggs
Grilled or friend tomatoes
Toast or fried bread
Baked beans (Heinz)
And, if you’re really like a bloody good hash brown
HP Brown Sauce or Heinz Tomato Ketchup if you’re not quite as sophisticated (like me).
My mouth is just watering thinking about it, I can barely type.
2 Red buses, red telephone boxes, red letter boxes & Black Cabs.
We might as well have red cabs, our love of red just seems to be ongoing.
3 London Underground
It smells of just about every disgusting thing under the sun, during rush hour it feels like the Sahara, people push and shove but it is definitely an experience and a half!
4 Shakespeare, Fleming & Rowling
Of course these are just three names that stick out in British literature amongst many. From Fleming’s Bond, Shakespeare’s Othello and Rowling’s Potter I’ve just named so clear-cut protagonists who made history. British writing at it’s best.
5 An unhealthy obsession with the Royals & Big Ben
Good or bad, we talk about them. Do they take all tax payers money (no) and whether the Queen looked like a sunglower at Wills & Kate’s wedding (yes), we love to moan, print pictures and fill coloumn inches with our Royals. Do we need them? Probably not. Should we keep them? Hell yes! Also Big Ben is NOT the name of the building but a nickname for the bell that dongs, the actual building is called Elizabeth Tower (fun fact), but we are still obsessed by it.
6 Liberty London, Harrods & Hamleys
I can’t even describe these shops, apart from using one word – yes.
7 Wimbledon, Cricket & Rugby
I should put football in there, but I simply can’t for my dislike of the sport. Tennis, cricket and rugby however. We just seem to love them. Wimbledon, as it happens leads me to my number 8…
8 Strawberries, cream, scones & cups of tea
Strawberries and cream whilst watching centre court at Wimbledon. Why of course. Scones and tea – the perfect remedy for just about anything and a daily ritual as far as I can tell.
9 Sarcasm and Irony, and the word ‘sorry’
Something we do only too well, and since I’ve lived in Dubai I’ve notice confuses practically every other nationality. We also seem to say: ‘sorry,’ a lot too. Sorry, I’m not sure why.
No one else has the pound, it’s ours – goodbye.
Typical Britain – underpaying and overworking valuable staff, complaining constantly about how the NHS is pure shite, and then demanding it treat us for free. I love it. It doesn’t always get it right but bloody hell the people who work there seem to do little else for tuppence, and I’m not talking just consultants, doctors, junior doctors, paramedics and nurses – I’m including everyone like; admin, management, caterers, janitors,porters, all of them.
Of course, it’s on the list. Rocked by scandal in the last few years but still in my opinion quintessentially British.
What do you think is considered stereotypically British, let me know in the comments below? Does your country have any traditions?