UK is not Europe
UK is not Europe Reviews
UK is (still) not Europe Oct 27, 2008
So I am updating this review because although it was very popular, and the majority of people enjoyed it and found it amusing, there were some people who took offence to it. Actually, disappointingly, I was abused and insulted for this review. More or less it was only Britons who took exception and felt the need to defend their Kingdom. They are entitled to their view, but it is a ‘review’ - which means it is my opinion and I am entitled to it as well. It’s really no different to me saying I thought a restaurant was terrible or a pub was fantastic!
The other thing that disturbed me was how many people missed my point. This is a list of items, a few are hard facts, but most are gross generalisations and stereotypes. Now the problem with gross generalisations is that you risk being grossly wrong in some instances. But at the same time, in general, you are correct! So pointing out exceptions or instances where I am wrong hardly disproves my points. It’s like saying because you know someone who has won the lotto, that everyone must have won the lotto…
The other thing people said was that they ‘like Britain’, or ‘enjoy going to London’. I wasn’t saying it was a bad place, in fact there are parts of the UK I really love too! The review was not entitled ‘UK is rubbish’. It was simply differences between UK and the rest of Europe. Nowhere else. I was not discussing USA, Australia, Asia or anywhere else. I was simply listing points where UK is not towing the European line. I could have easily picked anywhere else. If the differences happened to be positive or negative points then so be it. Most of them aren’t even a big deal, but they are still differences! No need to defend them – they are what they are!
I think the only other thing I failed to do was to quantify Europe. It can be defined in many ways: geographically, politically, economically, socially. I was taking the traditional political boundary of Europe – that including western, central and parts of Eastern Europe. Obviously Switzerland isn’t really a part of Europe in a number of ways. Scandinavians hardly consider themselves part of Europe either – they have their own currencies, strong economies, the world’s best education systems, the world’s most beautiful people, and are a little more removed. Russia and the ex-Russian states are also only new to Europe so they can hardly be included. Some of the Eastern countries are also only new to Europe, so whilst they are progressing in leaps and bounds it would be wrong to allow them to ‘let the team down’.
As for people insulting me, well…. I can laugh at myself and point out my faults better than anyone. So how can someone who has never even met me assume to be able to insult me?!
Again, if you took this seriously, and took offence, then shame on you! And shame on you for calling yourself a traveller! Sure, a lot of what I’ve written is stupid, generalising and controversial! But without a sense of humour, and the ability to laugh at yourself in particular, it must make for terrible times on the road of life…
The UK is (still) not Europe because:
1. Geographically, it isn’t on the same land mass (yes I know there are other islands as well!)
2. Europeans, in general, use the 'Euro' currency
3. Europeans have a different power point plug style to the British
4. Europeans drive on the right side of the road.
5. Europeans, in general, use Euro car registration/number plates
6. Europeans can mostly speak more than one language (usually that of their neighbours plus english)
7. Europeans have good food (most ‘good’ UK food is their international cuisine!)
8. Europeans have the best lagers & pilsners
9. The UK have great Ales! ;-)
10. Europeans, in general, make excellent chocolate.
11. Europeans, in general, make excellent wine.
12. Europeans travel throughout continental Europe, most Brits only ever make the Spanish Islands at best. (obviously the people on this site include the exceptions!)
13. Europe is generally half the price of anything similar in the UK (with obvious exceptions!)
14. The UK is on a different time zone to the majority of Europe
15. Europeans are generally good looking and healthy. (highly controversial!)
16. The UK has terrible dental care.
17. Europeans, in general, dress well, and dont consider a soccer shirt suitable for going out in (of course you will find classy bars in the UK).
18. Europeans, in general, understand culture, and what class is.
19. Europeans, in general, have excellent health & social services
20. Europeans have cheap public transport.
21. Europeans don’t separate their cold and hot water taps. There is absolutely no reason for this.
22. Europeans have pretty crappy TV, British television has plenty of diversity.
23. Europeans are environmentally conscious, and generally drive small economical cars (things are slowly changing)
24. The UK adores it’s royal family and affords them more attention than any other European nation (and they are not even the wealthiest in Europe)
25. Brits burn and turn red when they go out in the sun.
26. Brits are very polite and know how to queue.
27. The UK supports and promotes it’s massively extensive musical industry to a level beyond anyone else in Europe.
28. The UK is very multicultural and accepting of foreigners.
29. A European would never have carpet in the bathroom!
30. A European will kiss you MORE than once on the cheek when you meet (men too)!
31. Europeans are open and accepting of nudity and sex is not so controversial.
32. An obese European girl will not dress as though she is a size 6.
33. Europeans (in fact no one else) think that Ugg boots are footwear to be worn outside the home.
34. Europeans dont sit at home in the evening playing on a Wii.
35. When a European says 'half 11' they mean 10:30. A Brit means 11:30. The Brit is clearly wrong!
Part of the Northern UK travel blog
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