Brits Abroad: A Great Cultural Tragedy


As I sit in my local German café, observing the riffraff and cultural commodities of the institution surrounding me, I spot a gaggle of British men on the table ahead. I stare in astonishment, as almost every stereotype is filled and fuelled by their boozy presence. The tasteless football memorabilia; the glaring shine of their bald scalps; the drinking of pints on a Sunday afternoon – yes, in the environment of a quaintly quiet café – and the obnoxiously loud conversations that echo throughout the small and stuffy building.

As the waitress walks over to their table, they utter sweet words of British affection – love; my darling; cheers – and order wholeheartedly in English, with the exception of a poorly pronounced danke and bitte. Still, at least they opt for this method of communication, over the God-forsaken version of language that the majority of British men frequent whilst abroad – robotically slow English, with a side order of accent-mimicking, as their wives watch on horrified by their act of cultural ignorance.

I question the superiority felt by those bold – or bald – enough to commit such a sin. Why do Brits remain ignorant in their quest to travel the world, on their mission to invite themselves into every form of drinking culture known to man? How do they live with the stench of their boozy philosophy?

One brings out an iPhone from his back-pocket and starts aggressively tapping the screen with the finger of his other hand, confused as to why the battery is so low, despite the ten-hours of screen time consumed that day. They make a sexual innuendo about the longevity of modern technology, as adjacently sat Germans ponder the scene, in awe of the cultural spectacle presented to them in front of their very eyes.

Still, tuning into the delicate and dulcet tones of a British accent is far less embarrassing in a kindly café, as it would be in, say, the sunny setting of Spain – specifically Benidorm: the proud sunny sibling of Britain. The bright-red bulging bellies of those who have cooked for too long in the sun; the kids dive-bombing around the pool as they splash those with a good cultural read in hand; consistently comparing the weather to back home, as it is miraculously colder than the hard-wired sunbeds they find themselves slouched upon.

There is such irony to this British paradox, as I sit here, coffee in hand, trying to blend into the German-speaking world and breathe in the idyllic allure of studying abroad, all whilst being intoxicated by the stereotypical representation of what is imprinted on my passport. It seems no matter how far I fly from this vibrantly civilized flock, there will always be a Brit around to knock me back down to Earth and remind me of my banterous roots.

It is a hard life for those of us living under the shadow of a living and breathing meme. Those in Europe must have rejoiced at their God-given European Union status, as its value peculiarly ascended from the dreaded B-word knocking-out a country that embodies the food palate of a five-year-old, and the leadership of the Milkybar Kid with all of the grace and decorum of Mr Blobby.

As their bald heads Brexit the café, I take a sigh of relief. The boozy atmosphere returns to caffeinated bliss. At last, I can ride the merry-go-round of this blurred blue and green planet, without wheezing myself with such a peak display of culture – just don’t tell the flat-Earthers.


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