Faux pas

is a commonly used word in the English language. I am not sure why I thought of this when I looked at the 40 most British traits. I think there is a spectrum of Britishness and I want to examine if  make it onto it and if so where I am on that spectrum. Number 4 and number 12 involve cups of tea- I can see a theme here. Number 14 and  number 33 are interesting. I am not american but can be forward to- especially in the earlier years of my stay in Britain. Very early on whilst chatting with a colleague I suggested I’d come round for a tea (of course meaning a cup of tea as we often did as students). Like in number 33 she was a bit vague but then said yes. A date was arranged and she then said to me ‘In Britain we do not normally invite ourselves for dinner’. That seemed reasonable because we did not do that either. Much to my surprise after we had the cup of tea she then told me we were having dinner soon. I did feel embarrassed then. I am much better at being vague these days. I have made a lot of progress especially  at talking at lengths about the weather, making cups of tea in response to crisis, finding queue jumping  annoying, feeling extremely patriotic during sports events-  well my then country is better at football. I do wear extra layers when it is cold and really appreciate when the person in front puts the ‘next customer’ barrier on the conveyor belt. And I love a roast dinner on a Sunday. I think I am getting the dry jokes just right and do have (always had) a sense of humour.

I have to draw the line at having a beer at the airport before 8 am and can just about tolerate the wrong pronunciation of my name.

So  I am making about 18 out of the 40- I am on it- almost in the middle of the  spectrum of Britishness. Seems to me as good a reason as any to allow me to stay.








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