How does Europe view the Brits?
English humour
English breakfast
Carpets everywhere
Pay TV
Afternoon Tea
The British Pound
Ginger beer
The most photographed royal family in the world
Fish and chips
Drive on the left-hand side
Gallons
Football crazy
So sorry
Sandwiches
'No thank you, one is not a fan'
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How does Europe view the Brits?

Eccentric, conservative, football mad and a nightmare on holiday? How does the rest of Europe view the Brits? There are certainly a number of things that, culturally, set the Brits apart from their friends across the English Channel.

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English humour

In English humour, few subjects are taboo. Moreover, insinuations, intellectual jokes, and word games characterize British humor, so you should pay attention and understand them if you don't want to get lost in conversation. Monty Python are the masters of British humour but there is a rich history of eccentricity in Britain.

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English breakfast

The English breakfast is a feast of food that generally includes bacon, eggs, sausages, potatoes, Black pudding (blood sausage), beans and tomato. If you find it too bland, you can also add ketchup or a bit of spice with HP sauce (brown sauce). And, if you still have room for seconds, there is always a muffin.

Photo: Elle May/Unsplash

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Carpets everywhere

Seen throughout the house. Their origin lies in the cold climate and the need for insulation against noises between different flats or floors in a building. It's not unusual in the UK to expect that carpets are included with the house just like doors and windows. Other European nationalities tend to be less attached to their carpets and consider them unhygienic.

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Pay TV

Each home must pay a license. This goes for both natives and foreigners in temporary residence. Many other European countries have abandoned this TV contribution, but in the UK, the annual fee still serves to pay the expenses for the public television network. If you don't pay it, you will receive a fine!

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Afternoon Tea

The tea tradition. It generally takes place between 3 and 5pm and is commonly accompanied by pastries or, for the less gluttonous, by cucumber sandwiches. To go to 'Afternoon Tea' in one of London's big hotels, such as the Ritz, you will need elegant clothing, make a reservation in advance, and pay a good amount of British Pounds.

Photo: Jelleke Vanooteghem/Unsplash

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The British Pound

The pound (GBP) is the official currency of the United Kingdom. It is the world's oldest currency that is still in use. It's value fluctuates, especially with uncertainty surrounding Brexit, but it generally costs more than a US dollar or a euro. For Europeans, holidaying in the UK tends to be expensive.

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Ginger beer

A taste of the bitter, ginger beer. Ginger, lemon, sugar, water and brewer's yeast. Often accompanying something stronger, perhaps a whisky.

Photo by Deepal Tamang on Unsplash

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The most photographed royal family in the world

It is not unusual to find a photo of Queen Elizabeth II in some British homes, either stuck as a magnet to the refrigerator, engraved on a key ring, or framed in the living room. Society does not tend to question the monarchy - until recent events. A queen who remains stable on the throne for almost 70 years and is sovereign of sixteen independent states is accepted by most.

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Fish and chips

It's the typical fried dish in batter for the British. London's first fish and chip restaurant dates back to 1860, but it was a known dish before that, Dickens's novel Oliver Twist, for example, repeatedly refers to this culinary combination. It's unlikely to stroll through any city in the country and not encounter the famous chip shops.

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Drive on the left-hand side

When a European travels to the UK, it is extremely confusing. While the rest of Europe keeps its traffic on the right side, cars in Britain drive on the left side. However, the British are very considerate, and have painted "Look right" on the ground at every crossing. They also look to notify you which direction they are turning. The discrepancy in traffic in the UK can be explained by three possible reasons. One: medieval tournaments, where competitors kept to the right of their rivals; Two: a differentiation between classes, as nobility and knights used the left lane while the lower classes had to stay on the right; and three: the fact that riders used their right hands to whip their horses.

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Gallons

Europeans count in litres, but Anglosaxon countries use the gallon as their unit of volume. It's also called the imperial gallon. 1 gallon is equivalent to 4.54609 litres.

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Football crazy

British football fans travel like no other country in the world. When Liverpool played Milan in Istanbul an estimated 40,000 fans travelled to Turkey to see their team.

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So sorry

The British people love an apology. They apologise for pretty much anything. "Sorry I'm late", "Sorry the traffic was bad", "Sorry for the rain".

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Sandwiches

'Pre-packed' is not a real sandwich, the Brits want to choose the bread, the filling and the sauce. Brits are the masters of sandwiches and they will not be fobbed off with a triangle of bread and some kind of paste inside.

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'No thank you, one is not a fan'

Refusing food is considered to be quite the insult in many European countries, whereas Brits feel confident in saying 'No thank you'. Just never with a cuppa.

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