Written in Ink

Culture Shock At A Gas Station

"Oh, sorry love, I almost bumped into you" said a really wasted British man when I was buying a Coke at a gas station today. I thought "I'm not your love, dude" and "Love yourself, bitch", although I didn't say either response.

I mean, I get that it is a regular British expression, and words mean different things in different contexts. But I still remember the times strangers called me dear when I visited England a decade ago. When you think about it would be incorrect if I was to call an old British man I didn't know any of these things. Funnily enough I a few of these were used in comments that were displeased responses to my criticism of Richard Dawkins.


I know there is a lot of language that also follows these kinds of structures that I use without noticing it.

Being a somewhat fluent speaker of English it us assumed I know the rules of English behaviour, but despite having read the book, too often everyone has ended up insulted in my interactions with the English. I'd say its the strongest and most persistent culture shock I've encountered, and my first crush was from Brunei, so I haven't exactly spent my life in a single monoculture.

But this is just so foreign to me :

Clark published the first volume of his political and personal diaries in 1993, which caused a minor embarrassment at the time with their candid descriptions of senior Conservative politicians such as Michael Heseltine, Douglas Hurd, and Kenneth Clarke. He quoted Michael Jopling — referring to Heseltine, deputy PM at the time — as saying "The trouble with Michael is that he had to buy all his furniture" and judged it "Snobby, but cutting".


(Having to buy one's own furniture meaning that one has not inherited manor half full of rooms kept cold, filled with antique furniture or something along those lines)

I know the problem is me, common language doesn't not mean a common culture, and I simply haven't been immersed in English culture that much. Also, different personalities adjust to other cultures differently. But still, WTF, are we sure all humans are from the same planet?


And yes, I recognize the irony in me asking these questions and not understanding the dry humor of others,

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