Hollywood puts enormous efforts to present every Brit as subtle, polite, and decent by giving them the role of the butler. Yet, the description of Brits I’ve seen during my stay in the UK is far from Batman’s butler Alfred, and falls closer to any of the “Geordie shore” characters.
Yes, Brits drink, and there is nothing subtle about it. They simply drink until they cannot stand up any longer. They also combine it with junk food, which they love. They have the looks to prove it. As with all drunks, politics are the main topic of their discussion. Listening to Brits criticizing the USA presidential elections, it seems they forgot that their Empire has gone, and that nobody is really interested in their opinion. As to their recent Brexit decision - that might be for the best.
What about the myth of British “classy” appearance? Maybe the best example comes from the British toilet disposal company named “da Vinci”. You have the same classy-outside-but-actual-crap-inside vibe once going into their houses. The houses might seem posh from the street, but there is nothing except the darkness and depression paired with a strong smell of mold and bleach behind those doors. That might explain why “The Gloom Tomb” was the official name of my residence.
A similar vibe applies to British politeness. Superficially, it looks like they care. Yet, in fact, they don’t. Every Brit will politely say hi and ask whether you are fine. However, if you respond with anything but with “fine” or “yes”, you will be considered rude and uncivil. Nobody actually wants to engage in conversation with you. On the positive side, I found their swearing refreshing and home-like. It is name-a-body-part-and-instruct-what-to-do-with-it kind of swearing – far from name-a-random-disease Dutch swearing. Luckily for me, with all of that over-emphasized accent, I could barely understand what they were saying.
However, there is nothing hidden below the surface when it comes to British arrogance. They actually think that the fact they used to colonize a third of the world as a proof of their contribution and importance. However, when it comes to foreigners going to the UK, they firmly believe that all of us are on a mission to steal their jobs and money. Ignoring the hypocrisy behind it, I found that ridiculous. First of all, Polish people are doing those jobs just fine, and second, Brits are poor. That might be because of their drinking and smoking habits, since both are ridiculously overpriced. However, if you find the “right” Turkish store, you will pay a normal, illegal, price.
If Batman had an actual Brit to help him out, the chances are he would be passed out drunk for the majority of the time, and would check your passport and visa before helping you out.
Irena Boskovic, PhD Candidate at Forensic Psychology