Due to popular demand, I’m releasing the second part of my UK Funnies list earlier than I’d planned.
Yeah, I know, it’s a bit ironic posting a blog about the UK on Singapore’s National Day. It’s not planned. I’ve just been very busy with my new blog theme and this is the only post I have, written up and ready to publish.
Let’s get on with it, then!
1. Girls wearing next to nothing in winter
I am in awe of British girls (those who love their parties and love looking hot, at least). I always see them outside pubs and clubs, queueing, waiting for friends, or just hanging out.
And they’re always dressed in really sexy numbers – the kind that cause boob slips or ass peeks if the girl so much as sneezes.
Which is fine, as it’s standard party gear. But how they can wear those things outdoors in the middle of freezing sub-zero temperatures beats me senseless with a large cricket bat.
Please, somebody, teach me how to do that!
2. The undecided measurement system
The UK is supposed to be a metric country. They metricated in 1965 and, in 1978, Parliament made it compulsory for relevant industries to adopt the metric system.
Food is labelled in grams, drinks in litres, and rulers measure in centimetres. It’s very official.
So why do road signs still show miles (and cars show mph), and people still order a pint of beer at the bar and then groan about putting on pounds?
Imperial system, go home! I don’t understand you!
3. Confusion over meals
In Singapore, everyone knows that breakfast is the first meal of the day, lunch is for mid-day and dinner’s at night.
Then we have tea break for the in-between times, and supper before bed-time.
In the UK, the lines are not so clear cut.
Some people do go by what I’m familiar with. But others have their own versions. For example, dinner means lunch, tea means dinner, and supper could mean dinner. It’s all very mind-boggling.
By the way, you can learn more about British meal names here if you’re interested.
4. Can’t find whitening products here
I find it amusing how different cultures place opposing values on the same thing.
For example, in Southeast-Asia, fairness of skin is valued because, in the ancient past, only wealthy people had fair skin since they didn’t have to go out and toil under the hot sun for survival. This value has passed down into our genes so that even today, we generally consider fair-skinned people more attractive.
In Western countries, especially in the UK where the sun is an endangered species, tanned skin is valued because, in the past, only wealthy people could afford to go to exotic holiday locations to enjoy the sun and, as a result, get a healthy tan.
So, in Singapore, people are obsessed with getting fairer. Whitening products dominate beauty shelves. Girls use makeup lighter than their natural skin tone to look fairer (and some end up looking like uncooked dough).
In the UK, people are obsessed with getting tans. The word “whitening” does not exist here. Girls slather fake tan gels and powders all over themselves to look darker (and some end up looking like someone’s smashed a pumpkin in their face).
I find this opposition of values quite funny.
And also lamentable. Because I have to ship my Nivea Whitening Body Lotion from Thailand. (Note: Most whitening products don’t actually make you fairer; it’s just a myth created by the beauty industry. But I use this particular Nivea lotion because it’s the only one in the world that doesn’t make my skin feel greasy or sticky afterwards.)
5. Saying “You alright?”
[Suggested by Salie Salleh]
A few months after living with Piers, I started getting annoyed with him because he was always asking me, “You alright?” Like, many times a day.
It seemed very obvious to me that I was all right because I felt and looked alright. We were in the honeymoon period of our relationship so everything was obviously great and brilliant. What could not be alright about me?
Later, I learnt that “You alright?” is the British way of saying, “Hello, how are you?” or even just “Hello.” And when asked it, you’re supposed to answer with, “Yeah, alright?” or along those lines.
But I can’t quite get used to it because “You alright?” means something different to me.
It means, “You look sad/diseased/dead. Are you okay?”
Every time I meet someone and they “you alright” me, my mind reflexively wonders, “What’s wrong with me?” before the thinking part tells me that it’s just a greeting. By which time it’s a bit late to answer back in a polite way because my face has conveyed to my greeter that a catastrophe has struck.
Or the greeter has walked off because he’s gone off to “you alright” someone else.
No wonder I don’t have many friends here.
We will stop here for today.
I drew lots of multi-panel comics for this one because I couldn’t think of funny single-panel ones. Which means I’ve had to sacrifice a lot of gaming/sleeping time to produce this post, which means you should share it with all your friends tell everyone to read it and write lots of comments! :D
There will be more to come. I’ve got a long list, so come back again!
And Happy National Day to all Singaporeans!
Strange, funny things in the UK — #1