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Those Brits

…need to look inside their own closets (fashionable items will not be found)!

A recent poll of 6000 British by travellers’ website Where Are You Now (WAYN) said that the “French were the most unfriendly nation of people on the planet” and the “United States was named the most unstylish with the worst food.”

I have to admit I wasn’t surprised by the French comments because that’s just normal due to over a hundred years of war between two countries. However, the comments about the US did surprise me. Why?

Firstly, I don’t recall anyone ever saying Americans dressed badly before. Actually, American fashion is spreading around the globe. American fashion is varied and usually quite nice if you leave out the shoes. I think it would be more true to say that most English have their own sense of style that thankfully the rest of the world doesn’t share. Hey, I can generalize with the best of them.

Secondly and lastly, American food is not just McDonalds people! Geez…You would think everyone would be able to figure out that Americans don’t eat hamburgers or steaks every night. But, if you want to get mean and nasty about it…The majority of the world seems to enjoy it due to the fact that McDonalds has and is spreading around the globe. So, we have fast food that the world loves as well as the fact that real every day homecooked American food is yummy. Just ask my French husband.

This little survey just goes to show that people will only see what they want to see. If they only want to see the bad, they will only see the bad. If they want to only see generalizations and stereotypes, that is what they will see.

I just don’t take most polls or studies with more than a grain of salt. If you have ever studied statistics you will understand why.

In my opinion, this poll tells more about the Brits (attitudes and culture) than it does anything else.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • cj May 22, 2006, 3:07 pm

    Very True pumpkin. I think that this is what they are able to gather about Americans from watching them on tv… not by actually knowing any. :)

  • carra May 22, 2006, 3:21 pm

    I was going to write an article about this poll too! Well my opinion is that most of the Brits are a nightmare to deal with abroad. Just few days ago my husband and I were sitting in a café and there were two tables ‘occupied’ by British, they were talking very loud and stood out of place, I didn’t like them. My husband (who is British) is avoiding Brits like plague in other countries. Once accidently we met an English-woman in the doctors surgery and she insisted on giving her phone number and added:- my husband is plumber and if you need any help just ring!
    I won’t pay your husband double the price just because he speaks English – I thought. I like Brits in their own country and I was lucky enough to meet some nice ones! But everywhere else I try to adjust myself to the country I am in, I am cooking French food right now because I am supposed to. I miss only one thing Hellmans Mayonaise which I was unable to find, but all those talks about English bread, marmite and so on drive me crazy I do not like that kind of people, when in Rome do as Romans do!
    I mentioned before I have never been to America or McDonalds, I believe that all home made food from any country is good if it’s made with love!
    And about French well we moved to Hautes Pyrénéees three months ago, and with few exceptions most of the people were really nice to me. I guess it’s because I try and do speak their language and most Brits who are here on holiday expect everyone to speak English and it’s wrong! I strongly disagree with that poll but my point of view is very neautral, as I am not French, English, American or German… And btw British fashion is good in periodical waves only, the wave is down at the moment…
    Great article pumpkin saved me writing it!

  • Pumpkin May 22, 2006, 5:34 pm

    CJ- I think you are right. People only know what they see on tv or identify all Americans with the big US companies.

    Carra, You should write your post. It would be interesting because of the fact that you do have another view.
    I don’t cook much French food…we eat a mixture of Asian, American, French, Italian, German…well, we eat anykind of food that is good and we make up our own dishes as well. You are right about homecooked meals..that no matter what country they are from as long as they are cooked with love are good. I have even eaten homemade Loasian and Czech dishes since moving to France because of my inlaws…both are very good.
    I think that some people are just afraid to get to really know another culture. They keep up generalizations as a way to build a wall around themselves. When they travel or live without fear then the generalizations are less important. .

  • Pumpkin May 22, 2006, 5:34 pm

    By the way, I just picked on the English way to dress to prove a point. ;)  I have seen many more well dressed Brits than those that are badly dressed.

  • carra May 22, 2006, 8:28 pm

    You are probably right, but I think there is a lot of ignorance and actually not wanting to learn and that’s why my British husband does not comunicate with other Brits abroad.
    About fashion, I don’t know where I lived (Margate and then Chatham) there weren’t such things like sense of style or maybe I just didn’t meet the right people. It is true about fashion waves in England. First time English fashion emerged and overcame French fashion after the WW1, then later a bit in Fifties but they did not ever lead for a long time and as for people being stylish a lot of it is down to wether they have money or not, and how lazy they are!

  • Pumpkin May 22, 2006, 8:33 pm

    Very true.

  • Jube May 22, 2006, 9:12 pm

    I would say that, when I was in the USA, it was more the eating habits that struck me as strange, rather than the food itself. However, some of the best restaurants I have been to were in the USA, with really refined tasty food.
    Also, my girlfriend, who is American, is an excellent cook. She is open to all kinds of different foods and she enjoys eating good food. I know a lot of other Americans who are just as interested in good food as she is. The thing is, you see all sorts of different people with different experiences in the USA, from proud meat eaters to vegans.
    What I liked in the USA was how open to different cultures it is: Mexican, Idian, Chinese, French, Italian, Greek, etc.
    As for the poll, it is kind of funny to hear that British people think American food is gross…c’est un peu l’hopital qui se fout de la charite…
    I just hope the poll was wrong.

  • Pumpkin May 22, 2006, 9:59 pm

    Jube, My inlaws asked me about American food. I couldn’t really give them an answer because while living in America, I and most of the people I knew ate food from around the world and loved to make up our own twists to it.
    I have a French friend that told me she wants to try food from other countries like Mexico. However, she is afraid to make it because she doesn’t know the food. I told her Mexican food is the easiest to make. It is.
    I will admit that there are Americans with strange eating habits…I was one of them. I used to drive my husband crazy because I hated using a knife and would eat cold pizza for breakfast and I would take my food apart. I still only eat one thing at a time…the meat then the veggies mixed with the rice, for example. Now, I am not so bad. I did introduce my husband to the fine art of mixing corn into your mashed potatos…nothing better! Yum.

  • samantha May 22, 2006, 10:29 pm

    This is really interesting, because I was just thinking the other day (during my trip through Eastern Europe) how hard it’s become to tell the Americans from the natives. Most of the young people over there were wearing baggy jeans and clothes from the GAP or other American retailers – I honestly wouldn’t have know they weren’t American if I hadn’t heard them speaking.

    I do think the French are more stylish than the Americans though, especially the women, with all their scarves (knotted a hundred different ways) and their fancy jewelry.

    As for the food, my in-laws all had the typical thoughts about American food until they actually went to the US and tried it- and they LOVED it. We didn’t have a bad meal there. A year later, one of my brother-in-law’s is still talking about the delicious bacon swiss cheeseburger he ate in Chicago – seriously, he goes on and on about it to this day. It was really gratifying for me to see how much they enjoyed le mélange that is American cuisine. I myself cook a lot of Mexican, Italian and Chinese style dishes (as well as French, of course).

  • thomas May 23, 2006, 11:16 pm

    Just a little comment about english food… I lived there for one year, and their minth jelly, cauliflower jam, just to name these, are definitely not the best I tasted, eeeeek. That’s the year I started mastering french cuisine, thanks to my cook book, and my mom giving me instructions over the phone (hey french cuisine is expensive, isn’t it? $$$)

  • Pumpkin May 24, 2006, 10:01 am

    Sam, Exactly what I have seen and observed. And, I wish my inlaws would have visited while we lived in the States so that they could have enjoyed real American food. They still don’t believe me when I tell them how it really is. They think that Americans NEVER eat veggies or fruit. I told them we eat veggies with every meal and fruit is always in a bowl sitting on a counter in the kitchen for the taking. I have finally just given up and they can think what they want.

    Thomas, I have never had English food unless English tea counts (which I do like) but I adore French cuisine. I think French cuisine is more expensive because of the high quality of ingredients. Maybe, that is why it is so good? ;) I never liked fish too much and now with a good French sauce I do. It’s not just the food, it is the eating….setting the table and how the food looks on the plate. Before I ate because I had to and I did it quickly. Now, I eat for the pleasure of the taste, smell and beauty of the food.

  • thomas May 24, 2006, 11:42 pm

    “I think French cuisine is more expensive because of the high quality of ingredients”

    Oh darn, you didnt get my joke… I meant I was on the phone with my mom so much while cooking that it was ending up very expensive.

    but to answer more seriously, I dont think it is THAT expensive ( i am not talking about restaurant)… I find that cooking yourself with fresh food is overal cheaper than processed food

  • Pumpkin May 25, 2006, 12:11 am

    See that’s the problem with online conversations in comments boxes! I can’t see your face or hear you to “get” it.

    You’re right that it’s not SO much more expensive. And, I would rather cook with fresh food any day because of the taste and my families health. :)

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