Written by Leah Jane
For those of us in Ol’ Britannia, the holiday season is in full swing. You've booked your flights, your hotel, done your shopping for clothes and your constantly checking you know where your passport is. The build up to a holiday feels good: you look out at the rain the day before your flight and you're silently smug knowing this time tomorrow you will be somewhere where the sun is sweltering. Brits have a certain way of life; we like a good cup of tea, we like a roast dinner on a Sunday, and we enjoy the occasional karaoke night. But when we go on holiday we do a few things that annoy the locals. By no means is it intentional but it's what we do. Because of our way of life, we are not hugely adaptable when we go away on our jollies. Below is a list of things all Brits do while enjoying the sun that piss of the rest of the world.
1. Moan about the Heat
Although we book to go away to a place we explicitly know will be hot, the second the plane lands, we step off and exclaim, ‘oh god it's hot.’ and blow air out of our mouths in a vain, ridiculous attempt to cool down. Granted, this is a standard response to the heat when you live in Britain. During the four days of summer we enjoy on this tiny island, we manage to complain that it’s just too hot. Our old people are particularly good at protesting the heat by dying. And yet, we still head for places that almost reach dessert status. Throughout our holiday we can't help but tell the people we are with how hot it is or how we, ‘can't cope with this heat!’ We do it wherever we are in the world. As Brits it's become our unspoken birth right to complain about the weather. And by God, we’re proud of it.
2. Undoubtedly get Sunburnt
Always and forever, Brits are mad for a tan. We just can’t handle what the sun does to us when we travel. We get to our hotel rooms with our massive pasty, white bodies and head down to the pool or the beach right away. With our summer reading in hand, we rent a sun lounger (if the Germans don't take them all first) and if there is a poolside bar we are set for the day. And that there is the problem. We forget to reapply sun cream; we put it on at the start of the day and think we will be totally fine until the sun is over the yardarm later on. Then we get engrossed in our book, we don't count on the sun being a giant angry fireball and the sun then punishes us for our hubris and we pay so dearly for it. After our day basking carelessly, we stagger to the hotel restaurant for dinner as red as a freshly cooked lobster, searing in pain, wondering what went wrong. Then the most British thing happens: we blame the sun. We take absolutely no responsibility for what we’ve done. For the next two to three days we keep making ‘ooooh’ noises whenever someone brushes past our burnt shoulders and warn any passer by with the evil intention of touching us to, ‘Be careful: sun burn.’ We are the worst.
3. It’s perfectly Acceptable to be an Alcoholic for a Week or Two
The first thing we do at the airport is live by the Briton abroad motto: ‘I'm on my holidays!’ while downing our second pina colada or pint of San Miguel at six o clock in the morning. This is even before getting to the resort. Once there, the party really starts: Check in, bags down, and it's a matter of seconds before you hear, ‘So where's the nearest bar? Does the hotel have one?’ Wherever you go at whatever time, if there is a bar open at 10 am there will be a topless, hairy Brit with at least a half pint of some kind and he’s steaming more than a volcano. It has become so bad that the government is thinking of banning drinking on flights because of how rowdy and hellish we Brits become. I would like to apologise on behalf of the whole nation.
4. Enjoy the Local Language
We go abroad and we reduce these people to hopeless hand motions and desperate looks in the eye. Picture this: you are with your family, sat outside a restaurant and the young waiter comes over, and, in very broken English, asks if you would like some drinks. He clearly isn’t fluent but bless his soul, he is doing his best. This is the point where you realize who your family really are by how they order their meals. You have Uncle Patrick, the assumer, who orders their food and just assumes the waiter understood. Auntie Debby is a loud requester, trying to be helpful, by ordering their food louder than necessary with aggressive eyes, almost pleading them to understand, ‘THE CHICKEN?’ Aunty Debs always ask it in the form of a question and keep it to a maximum of four words. My personal favourite but the rarest Brit is the hand motioner: people who request the chicken while doing a mini chicken impression and trying to keep their voices level. Or when ordering a small beer they will use their thumb and forefinger to show what they mean by small. As funny as these are to see, it makes me sad for the locals. A British tourist is always so happy to find out that where they are going speaking English. Ah, colonialism.
5. Find the Food they Know
Honestly, I was never happier than when I saw a Subway and Costa on my last holiday. I think as Brits we know what we like and we are quite stuck in our ways when it comes to food. For whatever reason, even though we travel to experience new cultures, we try and avoid the local food. Be it fear of illness or fear of wasting money on a horrible meal, we do not take chances with our food when we go away.
We sit down, look at the menu, put it aside and order chips and a burger. It’s easy: we know what a burger is. Personally I’m far more likely to order that than Cassoulet (a French dish… like a meat crumble, I guess?). Then there’s the other method: we go to each restaurant within a one mile radius, look at the menu until we hit a MacDonald’s and we all just agree it’s for the best, we walk through the glass doors and eat there because at least we know we will feel as sick as a godafter devouring a double bacon burger and large fries. We submit ourselves to that but if we eat local food and we get ill, we feel so sorry for ourselves and say things like “I should never have eaten that meaty crumble,” whereas if McDonald’s or subway are the culprits, it's acceptable.
I am sure there are many more things that we Brits do to upset the rest of the world. Most of the time we're unapologetic for such behaviour. Please understand this to be a reparation for the things we do. It may be small, and it may have no long-lasting effect but it's an apology nonetheless. The next time one of us are on holiday in your country, please understand that some of us are truly sorry.