18. Juni 2021

Come together Lesson 13

Differences between American and British culture (II)

Tony: Apart from fish and chips, Indian food is probably the most popular cuisine, that it is actually delicious!
Here are two things you must know when it comes to British people and food and drink:
If British people say, that a food is ´quite` good, then they hate it.
And the British say ´cheers` when making a toast, but they also say ´cheers` to say thanks and sometimes goodbye.

Martha: Phew, if I ever come over to visit you, there is a lot to keep in mind!
You talked about how great the people are in your town. Tell me more about the British!

Tony: Let me just say, it is not a stereotype that British people are very polite.
Everywhere you go you hear: Sorry! Excuse me! Pardon me! Even when you step on someone’s foot, that person will apologise for what you did.

Martha: That is weird! I mean, of course you can say, ´No problem`, ´That’s alright` whatever, but to apologise for something someone else did, very weird.

  Tony: However, the people here are not as chatty as us Americans.
Especially on public transport, they rarely start conversations with strangers; they rather read the newspaper to avoid small talk and eye contact.

Martha: I’m trying to imagine you sitting on the subway, not chatting… that is hard to do!

Tony: Well, thanks Martha, I know I sometimes talk a little too much! Anyway, all that politeness sometimes even becomes a problem.
Get-togethers can sometimes drag on and end awkwardly, because no one likes to make their excuses and leave.

Martha: That must be very awkward indeed! What about safety? Do you feel safe on the streets?

Tony: I actually do. I mean, there is some crime and violence, but people cannot just buy a gun and carry it around.
Not even the police carry guns.

Martha: I didn’t know that! That really is a big difference then.
Well, I’m sorry but I have to go now. Tony, I am so glad, you called!
It has been very interesting to learn all those things and it’s great to know that you are doing well.
Say hello to your wife and talk to you soon! Bye!

Tony: You mean “cheers”!

Martha: Excuse me? Ah, yes, sorry you are British now! Cheers!

Tony: Cheers, Martha, talk to you soon!

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