The English mentality

I love the English as a race and having lived abroad a fair percentage of my life so far I find it easier to step back and analyse the psyche of my nation.
There are many excellent traits they posess, such as, er… the ability to assimilate other nations and cultures at a glance. However, I want to discuss the less savoury aspects – but to be fair to the English, this mainly concerns Londoners – the rest of you can sleep easy.
When I got home this evening I found that the lighting in the communal areas leading up to our flat wasn’t working. Using my very nifty blue LED torch on my keyring (first time it’s ever been useful) got us upstairs intact. Figuring it was just an MCB (miniature circuit breaker) that had popped I trotted down to the basement electricity cupboard, reset the switch was so obviously labelled and hey presto, light was restored.
Now, it’s not this amasing ability of mine to fix trivial problems, but the fact that three other residents of our building were already home and had done nothing about it that has incensed me. I don’t hold it against them personally, I’m just using this as an example (do you see?) to illustrate my point. Which is that “oh, I won’t do it, someone else will”. I have seen this time and time again – people in need of serious medical attention stepped over in the street, a man fitting on the tube totally ignored, homeless people blanked, if you try to chat to people on public transport people think you’ve escaped from a mental asylum – the list is endless. In no other city on earth have I experienced this.
Sorry, London, you just need to be nicer.

3 thoughts on “The English mentality

  1. I like to think that I’m doing my best to be nice, it’s frankly making me tired. Regarding the otehr people in your house: since you moved in you’ve already organised the post into little pigeon holes for people, labeled your own bell and sundry other little details which make it clear that it’s not that a vague “someone else” will sort things out, but that you and Steve will… it must be like having your own handymen living in the same building.

  2. Harsh but fair – I generalise when I say all Londoners, but hey, I live with one of the most pessimistic people on the planet. I was just trying to cheer myself up, and by extension, others.

  3. The best book on Englishness I have found is called “Watching the English”. This will be an eye openener, even to English people.

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