Sunday, January 25, 2009

Mysteries of Britain, Part I

Even though I've lived in MOE for more than 3 years now, there are still some things about the culture I just don't understand. I encountered one today: It's raining out, and no one has an umbrella. Some people (mostly old men trying to cover their bald patches) were wearing hats, one or two had hoodies up, but no one I saw had a brolly.

Why? Do people here like getting wet? Are they genetically altered to have skin and hair on which the raindrops bead? Mr. W says it's about "toughness." Brits are tougher than we Yanks are. I say they're just wetter than we are. Anyone care to enlighten me on when it's appropriate to use protection when it's raining out?

Thanks in advance,
Ignorant in Islington

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22 Comments:

OpenID Tony Haile said...

For some reason I could never sanction using an umbrella. It always seemed to be something that fits into the same category as handbags; possibly useful but not really the thing for a young man about town to be seen carrying.

6:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would also add the, "it's freezing out and nobody's wearing a jacket" observation. Not that the Brits don't done their Burberry's and Barbour's "in season" - but, this was late June, my girlfriend was wearing a fur lined coat, and the local crowd at the Orangery at Hyde Park/Kensington was in short sleeves acting as if it were a normal Summer's day, like the rest of the Northern Hemisphere was enjoying.

I imagine it's a sort of self-conscious-denial coming from the stigma of a foul weather reputation ... you know, like a guy who pretends he didn't fart in the elevator.

10:05 PM  
Anonymous badger said...

I was out with just my Golden Gophers beanie on me bonce yesterday in Croydon. If the rain isn't hard enough, or it's windy, I usually don't bother.

Then again I've been here for nine years. I was taught when I arrived that everyone has five brollies: one in your bag, one at home, one in the car, one at work, and one to lose. ;-)

3:00 PM  
Blogger Middle Kid said...

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2:55 PM  
Anonymous Gaia said...

After 3 years of being in England, I no longer own an umbrella.
I used to find it funny, seeing people about getting soaked. However in nearly 2 umbrella-free years, I cannot remember ever getting soaked.
Maybe because we mostly spend our time inside or running from one (indoor) place to the next (indoor) one.
Was I to go back to Italy, I would probably buy one. Odd.

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I agree with Tony... it's not really "cool" to be seen with a brolly!

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