In England

Circumstances oblige one to spend more time in England.

What’s different?

There are many more spam phone calls. That might depend on the phone user, though. Also post informing you that you are making a PPI claim through the company that writes.

When you phone up big offices, you get put through from pillar to post. Then if you have to speak to someone and give your personal details, the person is incredibly chirpy and friendly. For instance, I am asked to give my phone number and do so – ‘Thank you very much, that’s brilliant’. ‘That’s brilliant’ is commonly used for absolutely nothing.

I hate the way people ask on the phone if you are Mrs or Miss. Just occasionally they add Ms. I knew that Ms was a problem in the UK because ‘it can’t be spoken’, I just hadn’t experienced it on the phone before.

There are masses of plain English forms and advertisements for services and brochures from utility companies explaining what they offer. This is just beginning in Germany. The local utility company in Fürth sends a magazine or newsletter which always frustrates me because I worry that it might contain essential information so I can’t throw it away without looking through it.

The range of TV programmes is huge so it’s usually possible to find something worth watching. In Franconia, we don’t even get RTL and Vox on digital terrestrial.

Opening hours are more civilized than in Bavaria (I gather that even in Baden-Württemberg, you can shop at supermarkets till 10 pm rather than 8 pm).

Most things are sold in twos. For years I have had a horrible pillow here – I only use one. It seems to have a life of its own. I went to Tesco and nearly all pillows were called ‘rebound’. I know just what they mean. I got an anti-allergenic one, could have got a feather one. But no, I could only get two (‘pillow pair’ is the term).

Swimming is better organized than in Fürth. And I have seen no OAPs doing the crablike Altdeutsch-Rücken stroke and taking up three lanes to do so.

One thought on “In England

  1. Margaret, that’s brill! (Awesome for US consumption).

    Pity about the volume of spam calls. Some UK acquaintances of mine monitor the numbers of all incoming calls before answering, whilst unable to differentiate between number-undisplayed or -withheld local and international callers.

    UK women judges never have the problem of the title of Miss, Ms. or Mrs. as, contrary to English writing guidelines produced by certain organisations and translation agencies-cum-companies intrusively and obtrusively requiring the marital status to be spelled out, female judges always have to be referred to as Mrs. Justice ABC etc., even if a Miss.

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