Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Very British Problems? Oh dear!

Not everyone knows me, so let me tell you a little bit about myself. I am Italian—born and raised—but English has always been part of my life. I had a very strict upbringing, scholarly speaking, and there are people who still get surprised when I tell them that my love affair with this beautiful language began when I was six years old. I know, right?

Be careful of what you wish/say, you never know what might happen... Boy, if this wasn't true for me! My very first "living" experience in England goes back to 2006 when I spent three months in London as part of a job training. It was a very good experience—though it opened my eyes and made me rethink of what I wanted to do, job-wise—and now that I'm older, I can't help but smile at all the preconceptions I had about English people and the UK lifestyle in general. 

I was constantly asked why I wouldn't consider living in London permanently, and my answer was one and the same: "Nah... I mean, I like London, but I would NEVER—and I always made sure to emphasize the *never*—live here. The currency exchange is too much (and ten years ago it really was) and it always rains." Yeah, exactly. 

However, as I previously mentioned, you never know what happens in your life so BAM! (I see what you guys are doing there. You couldn't help quoting Friends and replying "Bus?", right? Well played everyone, well played.) Haha, it was not a bus, but two years later I dropped everything leaving my Italian life behind and move to London. 

December 2015 marked my seventh year in England, and I couldn't be happier of the decision I made that many years ago. During all this time I got acquainted with people's customs and habits, and now I like to consider myself a Brit (even if technically I am not). An example off the top of my head is the temperature. Let me just show you a conversation I had with my mother last November shortly before I travelled to Italy to visit my family. It went on more or less like this:

Me: What's the weather like there? I want to know so I can pack the right clothes.
Mother: Oh, no, no. Bring a heavy coat and wool jumpers because it's freezing, it's 18C.
Me *not able to hide the shock in my voice*: WHAT? Jeez, mum, that's freaking hot, I will travel with my leggings and pack t-shirts and maybe *one*jumper, just in case. 

You know, this kind of conversation always happens every time I have to go to Italy, because it always happens in Winter and I always end up getting sick afterwards. 

Anyway, when I discovered there was a book about this kind of quirks, if we want to call them that, I know I simply had to have it. Not only that, but they also published another book for Brits and their habits when travelling. I received *both* books as a Christmas gift, and you had to be there to see my excitement. I kinda had a meltdown and squealed and jumped around the room for about fifteen minutes, until my bestie *kindly* told me to quit the crap. LOL

Both books are fantastic, so hilarious and, most importantly SO TRUE!! I'm going to share with you some of the quotes—from both books—that somehow reflect my personality.

I do have Italian blood running in my veins and I'll admit I am a bit temperamental, but I have started to act more like a Brit in this situation. Truth to be told, I always end up my emails with 'Thanks', I wonder what that says about me... 

I like British trains, and I always book the quiet coach because I either travel in the morning or evening... I just need quiet in general. Not only people chatting loud, but I don't like people starting a conversation with me either. *
Leave me alone, will ya? 

I'm sure this is something even people outside the UK get upset about. The difference with me is that I would've used a different kind of insult, haha!
As I was saying, we all have our quirks even when we travel, and these below are the ones that feel like me. :)

Ahhh, don't we all love airports? It's the hellmouth of rush, and it never matters how long before you get there. The burn-through-your-skull stare works at the security check as well.

The same happens with the hand baggage when you are in the aircraft. Don't you just love when random people rudely shove your bag around to make space for their crap?

Ohhh, I really laughed out loud when I read this! Unless I've known the person I'm eating with for decades or I don't like some ingredients in what I ordered, I don't really like sharing...  

Of course, there are so many others and there are also quizzes for you to discover if you are a true Brit or not. I've never laughed so much in my life, and I have to give a massive number of kudos to Rob Temple for creating this genuine pearls of wisdom (and I know the term actually means the opposite, but it this case I really mean it, they are pure treasures!).

Click on each cover to purchase the book!

Not only are they great books, but they're a fun read suitable for everyone, including non-Brits =D 
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