I was part of a consensus recently, about how some European nations sound to our sensitive British ear like they’re arguing when they talk, and more specifically, that some seem to actually like a debate when conversing. Like a gentle sparing bout.
The problem with being British however is that we’re more likely to roll over and expose our bellies in tricky conversations, than we are to forcefully express what we actually think. And damn us, I can’t stand it. And our worldly satirised bumbling Hugh Grant / Boris Johnson stammering and backtracking.
Wonder if things were different in the Empire and Industrial Revolution days and if British conversational cautiousness is a recent thing? Maybe even an apologetic repercussion from being such horrible imperialistsfor so long.
Sorry, were you using that? Oh! It’s yours? Oh, gosh, right, sorry, please, have it back. Sorry. Keep the Monarch if you like maybe. Good for parties and flags and such.
At the same time, I can see slight advantages to our nervousness. It’s good to be considerate and sensitive to the needs of others. To empathise rather than critisize and lambast. But then again, it’s more important at times to speak up and add value rather than just to follow a status quo.
See, I’m doing it now. Pick a side man. Speak up. And go and ask that woman again if you can use the plug, since that’s what got you on this train of thought in the first place. She’s had it for ages since saying ‘oh, just a moment more’. It’s your turn to charge your computer. Say so. Oh, hang on. She’s left. Now it’s my turn.
8 August 2014. 3.30pm. E5 Bakehouse Arch 395, Mentmore Terrace, London, E8 3PH. Accompanied by an iced latte (7/10) followed by a Square Root London Traditional Soda Lemonade ‘Handmade in Hackney’ (5/10) and a loaf of Multigrain to go (10/10).
Journeyman eating, drinking and writing trial run concluded. Conclusion: Too indulgent. Like eating 20 eclairs, in front of people. Leaves you feeling a bit sick and embarrassed. Gave it a go though. What’s next?