So I have now been in the land of the Queen for almost 8 long months and consider myself something of an authority on all things British.
Ok I do not.
But there are certain things that I have noticed here that are unmistakably different from us back home.
A reader of my blog who very interestingly calls herself/ himself SJ asked me once by way of a comment about the manners of the Brits. Hence the post!
1. You make a big show of keeping the door ajar for the person walking behind you. – Be it office or a tiny gate outside your building apartment when you open a door and before you shut it , you look back and in case you see anyone within some 100 miles who might walk through that gate you hold it open, or keep a restaining palm on the door signifying how much you want to keep the door open. It is polite. Everyone does it here and no matter how useless the whole practice might be, very soon you will find yourself doing the same.
2. Pehle Aap!- This happens in the tube when two people move towards the lone empty seat. Both will use their hands and expressions to say, “ Ma’am/ Sir please go ahead and take the seat. Kind Regards XYZ”. This will go one for some seconds when someone will finally take the seat. If it’s a man and a woman, the woman will ultimately take the seat, if they are people of the same gender, the older one will take the seat. I fins this in contrast to the way we rush to take seats and giving it up is something we cannot even consider.
3. In the defense of my des waalas, the Brits here are not travelling in a rickety bus with the outside temp at a mere 50 degrees C and no AC in the bus! If that were the case, British politeness might have been different. However, to be fair, it might have still been the same, in which case, due respect!
4. Love/ Darling: the older lot, the grannies and the grand dads will often refer to you as ‘Love’. For example you are standing in the middle of a narrow aisle and are lost in thoughts, chewing gum and vaguely thinking that the gum has a very revolting taste. Suddenly you hear a soft , “Excuse me, love”. You turn around wondering why your husband has a funny voice now and come face to face with a white haired lady in a skirt and cardigans. You smile and give her way.
5. The way they greet you on the phone- the way someone here will greet you will be more affectioinate than how your mum will greet you when you go back to apna des after 10 years. The receptionist at the Parlour will sound more excited about talking to you at 9 in the morning than you will ever be to talk to the love of your life!
So much for the time being. More later!