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Thread: a guide for American tourists

  1. #1 daveham's Avatar
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    Aug 2003
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    a guide for American tourists


    The Brits have peculiar words for many things. Money is referred to as
    'goolies' in slang, so you should for instance say 'I'd love to come
    to the pub but I haven't got any goolies.'

    'Quid' is the modern word for What was once called a 'shilling' - the
    equivalent of seventeen cents American.

    If you are fond of someone, you should tell him he is a 'great ******'
    - he will be touched.

    The English are a notoriously demonstrative, tactile people, and if
    you want to fit in you should hold hands with your acquaintances and
    ******s when you walk down the street.


    Ever since their Tory government wholeheartedly embraced full union
    with Europe, the Brits have been attempting to adopt certain
    continental customs, such as the large midday meal followed by a two
    or three hour siesta, which they call a 'rubbishrubbishrubbishrubbish.' As this is still a
    fairly new practice in Britain, it is not uncommon for people to
    oversleep (alarm clocks, alas, do not work there due to the magnetic
    pull from Greenwich). If you are late for supper, simply apologise and
    explain that you were having a rubbishrubbishrubbishrubbish - everyone will understand and
    forgive you.


    University archives and manuscript collections are still governed by
    quaint medieval rules retained out of respect for tradition; hence
    patrons expected to bring to the reading rooms their own ink-pots and
    a small knife for sharpening their quills. Observing these customs
    will signal to the librarians that you are 'in the know'- one of the
    inner circle, as it were, for the rules are unwritten and not posted
    anywhere in the library.

    Likewise, it is customary to kiss the librarian on both cheeks when
    he/she brings a manuscript you've requested, a practice dating back to
    the reign of Henry VI.

    One of the most delightful ways to spend an afternoon in Oxford or
    Cambridge is gliding gently down the river in one of their
    flat-bottomed boats, which you propel using a long pole. This is known
    as 'cottaging'. Many of the boats (called 'yer-i-nals') are privately
    owned by the colleges, but there are some places that rent them to the
    public by the hour. Just tell a professor or policeman that you are
    interested in doing some cottaging and would like to know where the
    public yerinals are. The poles must be treated with vegetable oil to
    protect them from the water, so it's a good idea to buy a can of
    Crisco and have it on you when you ask directions to the yerinals.
    That way people will know you are an experienced cottager.


    British cuisine enjoys a well deserved reputation as the most sublime
    gastronomic pleasure available to man. Thanks to today's robust
    dollar, the American traveller can easily afford to dine out several
    times a week (rest assured that a British meal is worth interrupting
    your afternoon rubbishrubbishrubbishrubbish for). Few foreigners are aware that there are
    several grades of meat in the UK. The best cuts of meat, like the best
    bottles of gin, bear Her Majesty's seal, called the British Stamp of
    Excellence (BSE). When you go to a fine restaurant, tell your waiter
    you want BSE beef and won't settle for anything less. If he balks at
    your request, custom dictates that you jerk your head imperiously back
    and forth while rolling your eyes to show him who is boss. Once the
    waiter realises you are a person of discriminating taste, he may offer
    to let you peruse the restaurant's list of exquisite British wines. If
    he doesn't, you should order one anyway. The best wine grapes grow on
    the steep, chalky hillsides of Yorkshire and East Anglia-try an Ely
    '84 or Ripon '88 for a rare treat indeed. When the bill for your meal
    comes it will show a suggested amount. Pay whatever you think is fair,
    unless you plan to dine there again, in which case you should simply
    walk out; the restaurant host will understand that he should run a tab
    for you.


    Public taxis are subsidised by the Her Majesty's Government. A taxi
    ride in London costs two pounds, no matter how far you travel. If a
    taxi driver tries to overcharge you, you should yell 'I think not, you
    charlatan!', then grab the nearest policeman (bobby) and have the
    driver disciplined. It is rarely necessary to take a taxi, though,
    since bus drivers are required to make detours at patrons' requests.
    Just board any bus, pay your fare of thruppence (the heavy
    gold-colored coins are 'pence'), and state your destination clearly to
    the driver, e.g. 'Please take me to the British Library.' A driver
    will frequently try to have a bit of harmless fun by pretending he
    doesn't go to your requested destination. Ignore him, as he is only
    teasing the American tourist (little does he know you're not so
    ignorant!). For those travelling on a shoestring budget, the London
    Tube may be the most economical way to get about, especially if you
    are a woman. Chivalry is alive and well in Britain, and ladies still
    travel for free on the Tube. Simply take some tokens from the baskets
    at the base of the escalators or on the platforms; you will find one
    near any of the state-sponsored Tube musicians. Once on the platform,
    though, beware! Approaching trains sometimes disturb the large Gappe
    bats that roost in the tunnels. The Gappes were smuggled into London
    in the early 19th century by French saboteurs and have proved
    impossible to exterminate. The announcement 'Mind the Gappe!' This is
    a signal that you should grab your hair and look towards the ceiling.
    Very few people have ever been killed by Gappes, though,
    and they are considered only a minor drawback to an otherwise
    excellent means of transportation.

    One final note: for preferential treatment when you arrive at Heathrow
    airport, announce that you are a member of Shin Fane (an international
    Jewish peace organisation - the 'shin' stands for 'shalom'). As savvy
    travellers know, this little white lie will assure you priority
    treatment as you make your way through customs.

  2. #2
    Resident abit mourner BUFF's Avatar
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    Jul 2003
    Sunny Glasgow
    181 times in 171 posts
    Oh you are nasty...

  3. #3
    King of the Juice Platinum's Avatar
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    • Platinum's system
      • Motherboard:
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    ohhh very nasty indeed lol
    Salazaar : <Touching wood as I write this...>

  4. #4
    Spider pig, spider pig
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    34 times in 20 posts
    I just hope that someone, somewhere, sees this and falls for it! Can you just imagine the scene, in a restaurant, to the waiter "Thank you, that was such a nice meal. I think I'm really going to enjoy my afternoon rubbishrubbishrubbishrubbish now..."

  5. #5
    Spodes Henchman unrealrocks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Nottingham UK
    2 times in 2 posts
    Heheh - thats funny Wonder how many US peeps'll belive it if you showed it to them is the funnyer question

    G4 PowerMac - Tiger 10.4 - 512MB RAM
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  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Nov 2003
    0 times in 0 posts
    good stuff

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