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  • Writer's pictureKristina Lang

What annoys me about the English and vice versa/Što me nervira kod Engleza i vice versa


Even though I've lived in England for twenty-one years, which is more than I've lived as an adult anywhere, including Croatia, some small things still annoy me. For example, the English have a saying that sounds like the question "Are you all right?" And it literally means "Are you okay?" Now, sometimes it's really a question, but more often it's just a greeting. English people in passing nod at you and say, "Are you all right" and sometimes they don't even stop walking. That question/greeting puzzled me for a long time because I didn't know what to answer. Today I know that the correct answer is "I'm fine." However, after all these years, sometimes I feel like I want to be Croatian, not English, and I get on a roll, so I start from the seventh century. "I'm not bad, although I didn't sleep very well last night. And that rain, it took me 40 minutes to get to work and when I got there, I was greeted by a broken instrument..." Some of my colleagues who asked, "Are you all right?" as a greeting, they start to stir, shift their weight from leg to leg, or avoid eye contact already at my second sentence. These are all signs that I should stop with my story, but sometimes I just don't want to. I know some of them regretted saying anything at that moment. My friend Ljiljana, who works as a university professor in Cambridge, has English PhD students in her group. She said to one of them "What is it John, what ‘are you all right?’ and you just leave. There is no such thing with me. Either you're interested in how I'm doing and stop to hear what I'm going to answer, or don't ask anything like that."


In Croatian clothing stores, it's kind of common for salespeople to give you compliments while you're trying on something new ("That colour looks great on you") and it's often pleasant, although I have to admit that sometimes it's a little annoying. I didn't notice at the time that I had gotten so used to that complementing that I miss it now, here in England, where not a single salesperson would think to say anything to you and express their opinion. I occasionally get into that Croatian custom and leave the dressing room with the question "How does this look on me? Am I not too old for this shirt?” All the salespeople are taken aback, and some avoid the answer, but more and more younger girls laugh and enter the discussion "Of course you are not too old." And that's good to hear for everyone, isn't it?


And one other little thing here in England sometimes throws me into orbit because it annoys me quite a bit. Namely, it is very common in English coffee shops that they stop serving you coffee in ceramic cups and switch to paper cups that don't need to be washed up to two hours before the coffee shop closes (which are open until 7:30 p.m. at the latest). Very often baristas turn to you with the question/statement "You don’t mind getting your coffee in takeaway cups?" Given that I hate drinking coffee from take away cups and given that I have zero tolerance for their laziness to wash ceramic cups shortly after work or the next day I say "Yes, I do mind." This is where they usually get confused because the English would never say that. One barista even said to me "So what does it matter, the coffee is the same." I have travelled most of Europe and some of the rest of the world, but I would say that this nonchalance of English baristas is a typically English invention that does not exist anywhere else and that I have no intention of supporting.


There are other small things like that, but the length of this text is already getting large, so I will leave other topics of similar content for another article, of which there will surely be more.


Kristina

Friday, April 14th, 2023



Što me nervira kod Engleza i vice versa


Iako u Engleskoj živim vec dvadest i jednu godinu, što je više nego sam kao odrasla osoba živjela bilo gdje uključujući Hrvatsku, neke me male stvari još nerviraju. Na primjer, Englezi imaju izreku koja zvuči kao pitanje “Are you allright?” I doslovno znači “ Jesi li dobro?” E sad, to je neki put zbilja pitanje, ali češće je samo pozdrav. Englezi vam u prolazu klimnu glavom i kažu “Are you allright” i neki put niti ne zastanu. To pitanje/pozdrav me dosta dugo zbunjivalo jer nisam znala što bi odgovorila. Danas znam da je pravilan odgovor “Dobro sam.” Ipak nakon svih tih godina neki put mi dođe da budem Hrvatica,a ne Englez i tu me karta krene pa počnem od stoljeća sedmog “Nisam loše, iako noćas nisam baš dobro spavala. A i ta kiša, trebalo mi je 40 minuta da dođem do posla i kad ono dočeka me pokvareni instrument…” Neki od mojih kolega koji su pitali “Are you allright?” kao pozdrav se već kod moje druge rečenice počnu meškoljiti, prebacivati težinu sa noge na nogu ili izbjegavati kontakt očima. To su sve znakovi da trebam stati sa svojom pričom, al’ neki put naprosto ne želim. Znam da su neki od njih u tom trenu požalili što su bilo što rekli. Moja prijateljica Ljiljana koja radi kao sveučilišni profesor u Cambridgeu ima u svojoj grupi doktorante Engleze. Jednom od njih je rekla “Šta je to John, šta ‘Are you all right?’ i samo odeš. Nema toga kod mene. Ili te zanima kako sam i zastaneš da čuješ što ću ti odgovoriti ili nemoj ništa takovo pitati.”


U Hrvatskim je trgovinama odjeće nekako uobičajeno da vam prodavačice daju komplimente dok nešto novo probavate (“Divno vam stoji ta boja”) i to je često ugodno iako moram priznati da neki put i malo nervira. Ja nisam uočila tada da sam se na to komplementiranje toliko navikla da mi sad nedostaje, tu u Engleskoj, gdje niti jednom prodavaču ne pada napamet da vam bilo što kaže i izrekne svoje mišljenje. Ja povremeno uđem u taj hrvatski običaj pa izađem iz svlačionice sa pitanjem “Kako mi ovo stoji? Nisam prestara za ovu majcu?” Sve prodavačice ostanu zatečene i neke izbjegavaju odgovor, ali sve više mlađih djevojaka se nasmije i uđe u diskusiju “Naravno da niste prestari.” A to je svima lijepo čuti, zar ne?


A jedna me druga mala stvar tu u Engleskoj neki put baci u orbitu jer ta me poprilično nervira. Naime, u engleskim je kafićima vrlo uobičajeno da vam i do dva sta prije zatvaranja kafića (Koji su otvoreni najduže do 19.30) prestanu služiti kavu u keramičkim šalicama i pređu na papirnate koje se ne moraju prati. Vrlo često konobari vam se obrate sa pitanjem/konstatacijom “Ne smeta vam da dobijete kavu u papirnatim šalicama.?” Obzirom da mrzim piti kavu iz papirnatih šalica i obzirom da imam nula tolerancije za njihovu ljenost da operu keramičke šalice malo nakon posla ili drugi dan ja ko iz topa kažem “Da, smeta me.” Tu se obično oni zbune jer Englezi to nebi nikada rekli. Jedan konobar mi je čak rekao “Pa kakve veze ima, kava je ista.” Proputovala sam veći dio Evrope i nešto daljeg svijeta, ali rekla bi da je ta nonšalancija engleskih konobara jedna tipično engleska invencija koje nema nigdje drugdje i koju ja nemam namjeru podupirati.


Ima jos takovih malih stvari, ali dužina ovog teksta već postaje povelika pa ću druge teme sličnog sadržaja ostaviti za neki drugi članak kojih ce na ovu temu sigurno još biti.


Kristina

Petak, 14. travnja 2023.

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