British sense of time vs. American
"In America, if you need some salt and your friend is your neighbor do you need to telephone him before knocking his door?"
Asking your neighbors for salt--many of whom you don't know--isn't commonly done in America nowadays, except perhaps in some country regions. In the 70s, growing up in rural America, sometimes we neighbors would borrow from each other. In those cases, we didn't telephone, we just knocked, but the neighbor wasn't usually invited inside. The conversation would go like this: "Hi, how are you today?" "I'm doing fine, thank you; I wonder if I might borrow some sugar?" "Why sure, just a moment".....
"Thank you so much for the sugar. Anytime you need something, feel free to drop by and ask." (notice the invitation)
Back to close friends for a moment: please keep in mind that it's quite usual for a close friend to live many miles away from you--America is a large, spread-out country. My own closest friend lives two or three miles from me, and another one lives all the way across town--a ten-mile trek.
I don't lend anything of certain value to my neighbors. Once one of them borrowed a hoover from me and I'm still waiting he returns it to me.
Jasper: Thanks for reply. Please bear in mind I have NO personal experience of what it's like to be a Brit living abroad. All I have to go on to make the comments I have in this thread is what I have read (which I had to do massively for my job) and what I can glean from the internet sites involving Brits who have left these wave beat shores on this wave beat little island nation to seek lives elsewhere in the world, for whatever reason, especially one simply called British Expats - in which each respective country to which the Brits have moved abroad has its own section, and under which they open up threads galore dealing with every kind of topic relating to them as Brits living in these countries.
I find all the threads fascinating and there is no better way of finding out what they feel about their new "homelands", good as well as bad. Rest assured, those Brits who have moved to the USA do have plenty of positive things to say about your country, and many also say they are glad to be there when they read about the negative things happening back here in Blighty - and that's true, of course _ I mentioned them in an earler post.
Blighty is a name for the UK expats use when abroad - a throwback from history, probably WW1, maybe even further back. In WW1 there was this "pop" song of the time called: "Take Me Back to Dear Old Blighty, put me on a train to London Town, send me over there, drop me anywhere...... Liverpool, Leeds or Birmingham..... I just don't care......!" But that was usually sung by the Tommies (British soldiers) slogging it out in the bloody hellholes of the Continental battlefields, so a different situation altogether.
I also speak from a Scottish perspective, and remember this - we Scots differ from the English in so many ways, and I think I'm right when I said that people who call on friends and neighbours unexpectedly and don't meet with negative reactions is dad right - it really depends who it is being called on and who it is doing the visiting, and the time of day - it would be a wee bit silly to call in the early evenings when people are usually having a meal, but I know that there have been occasions here at home when someone called while we were having a meal and my Mum just put out an extra plate of food and they joined us. Perhaps in England there is a different attitude, especially in Southern England where I know for a fact that people tend to be more "reserved" and less likely to know their neighbours too well. I know there are areas of Edinburgh here - in more central parts of the city with more transient populations - neighbours can live side by side and hardly ever come into contact with each other and contact on sight usually involves just a smile and a greeting (if they recognise each other) and that's it, but that's what cities are like, but in this area of the city - a suburban residential area - we know many of the people in our road by name, and my Mum is quite happy to welcome someone in if they call unexpectedly, and she knows them, and they can chat over tea or coffee.
(btw we can get and make some really great coffee! - I prefer coffee to tea, and grinding and percolating fave coffee can produce very passable results!
Back to British expats abroad - we agree Brits are great whingers - especiallty the English! Now I really DO have to emphasise that point! As you say, they could land in Paradise on Earth and still find something to whine about! ;-) Another fact I have discovered - Brits are more likely to return to the UK ultimately than any other nation, especially those who had moved further afield, such as to the USA, Canada, Oz or NZ. Very few Brits relinquish their UK citizenship, though some do go for dual nationality. Those who can afford it retain ownership of their homes in the UK and rent them out for the duration, and with rental charges being what they are now that's a very lucrative form of income. Then they will always have a place to return to once they return to Blighty.
Brits in America (according to the Expats site) generally feel that they would prefer to live in retirement either back in the UK or to a European Union country, as, according to them again, growing old in the UK or Europe is a less scary prospect thjan it (currently) is in the USA. Pensioners in the UK get help with a range of State benefits such free medical prescriptions, free eye tests, free travel on buses, 33% off train fares, guaranteed money to pay for winter heating costs (currently £250 for each pensioner household each winter and £400 for over 80s) and extra dosh if the weather falls below freezing for a set number of days, plus all the other additional pensioner benefits which are paid to those with lower incomes. In some other EU countries pensioner benefits can be even better, which is why many Brits living there don't return to the UK in anything like the same numbers - and in any case, they are much closer to Blighty anyway, and can pop over here so much easier and more often, so it's not that much different to still be living in the UK, especially now that the mantle of the EU covers us all, and reciprocal healthcare arrangements - treatments etc - apply alround.
It's true that Brits abroad to tend to stick together and form friendships with each other more than they do the local people, and maybe try to make "Little Britains" in their adopted countries, and activiely seek out environments where they can feel "more at home".
Rupert Brooke - a poet from England - "stands the clock at ten to three and is there honey still for tea?" Rupert - from Warwickshire, England (same county as Shakespeare) - an extremely handsome and sensitive man, with a deep love of his native England - he had to become a solder in WW1 and sadly died aged 28, far from home on the island of Skyros, while on the way to the fighting on the Dardanelles in 1915.
This poem is well known and could apply to many Brits abroad (especially Englishmen!) :
"If I should die, think only this of me:
That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England's, breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blessed by the suns of home.
And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
In hearts a peace, under an English heaven".
Rupert Brooke (1887-1915)
He also wrote:
"O meet it is,
And passing sweet
To live in peace with others
But sweeter still
And far more meet
To die in war for brothers".
I wonder what the guys in the hellholes of Iraq and Afghanistan think of those words.
PS: The sunshine here in Scotland right now is brilliant! Oh to be in Scotland now that June is here.... (with apologies to Rupert!)
Jerome, Mary, and all others: I really think you have the wrong ideas about Americans. This is probably due to your media, which focuses on life in cities such as New York and Los Angeles.
Life in small-town and rural America is far different. People are very friendly but respect each others' privacy.
When my grandmother died in 1977, all the neighbors brought over a dish; we had enough food to feed an army. When a neighbor a couple of miles away lost his house to fire, all the neighbors pitched in and donated clothes. We gave the family a large box of clothes; when the mother saw the box, she wept with gratitude.
To this day, millions of people all over rural America don't bother to lock their doors or windows; in fact, they often leave the windows open at night for the fresh air. Violent crime--and even property crime--is exceedingly rare in rural America. It is a good life, if sometimes boring.
We don't drop in unexpectedly; it's too far, anyway, and what if the neighbor/friend isn't home, or cannot receive you for some reason? Besides, their privacy needs to be respected. We almost certainly inherit this love of privacy from the Germans.
In short, Americans are very friendly, but respect each others' privacy. You don't see any of this "hidden America" because it gets absolutely no press.
lets put it this way, you got the wrong influence from the germans, because nobody likes the germans, and not because of the ww2. And remember parts of America was called the Wild West. You definitely inherited many wild things, the rest is history
Germanics as a whole are all filthy little shit headed freaks that should of been placed in cages so we of superior latin blood will watch you all kill yourselves with stones.
>>Jerome, Mary, and all others: I really think you have the wrong ideas about Americans. This is probably due to your media, which focuses on life in cities such as New York and Los Angeles.
Life in small-town and rural America is far different. People are very friendly but respect each others' privacy.<<
>>In short, Americans are very friendly, but respect each others' privacy. You don't see any of this "hidden America" because it gets absolutely no press.<<
The impression I get is that there really is a lot of aspects of the US which are basically invisible from without English-speaking North America. The only parts of the US which really seem visible at all are the very largest cities (basically New York and Los Angeles), and then the treatment of them is extremely superficial in practice (as is their depiction in the media here). The interior of the US as a whole seems practically unknown to much of the outside world, and even many larger urban centers there, such as Milwaukee and Madison here in Wisconsin, are rather distinct from the outside view of the US, for better or worse.
***To this day, millions of people all over rural America don't bother to lock their doors or windows; in fact, they often leave the windows open at night for the fresh air. Violent crime--and even property crime--is exceedingly rare in rural America. It is a good life, if sometimes boring***
This just doesn't happen in most of the UK that's for certain...probably the whole of the country now, really - rural or urban. You must remember that rural Britain can, in no way, be compared with rural America. Much of rural America is vast in size whereas no part of rural Britain is any great distance from the more urban areas. You might exclude much of the Highglands of Scotland here though, but even there criminals have been known to move in and commit crimes, mostly robbery and theft. Easy mobility allow them to do this.
In much of the UK though, rural areas can be targets for criminals from nearby urban areas (and it's urban areas which are more prone to criminal activity, and it's in the more rural areas where the wealthier people tend to live, and they can become targets for burglars and housebreakers (one is done by night and the other by day).
Today most houses now have burglars alarms, even in the depths of the countryside. You will find very, very few people who will leave their homes with windows open or doors unlocked - it's just not done, the risks are too great, even in quaint, picturesque Bourton-on-the Water, which is now full of well heeled people with homes full of stuff which burglars would target in a heartbeat.
As for people living in the large urban and metropolitan aras, then burglar alarms are a must, and all security measures must be taken. The problems the UK police have to deal with are those primarily arising out of the drugs culture, as it's people desperate for their next fix who have to seek out the money somehow, and burglary and theft are the easiest options.
Even this Labour Government seem to have acted positively in dealing with this problem, as the latest crime statistics show a continuing decline in these sort of crimes. If only they can deal effectively with the problem of kids carrying knives - and using them, but there again they don't happen all that often but when they do they get full publicity.
Remember also, that Britain is the only developed country where the police go about their duties unarmed - they do not carry firearms, but just equip themselves with CS sprays and extendable batons, plus all the rest of their gear to make their work operational. Only specialised units carry guns, and they are only brought into operation when the occasion demands it, such as terrorist activities. How long our ordinary on the beat bobbies can go around unarmed remains to be seen, but it's most unlikely in the forseeable future.
Even so, communities in the UK do have a sense of spirit whenever trouble arises, or local people experience difficulties of any kind, and after all, the Briish donate more to charities than many other countries do, and every community has a whole range of support services, of every kind, available to the people...from the smallest village to the largest city location.
"Germanics as a whole are all filthy little shit headed freaks that should of been placed in cages so we of superior latin blood will watch you all kill yourselves with stones."
I asked my cook yesterday--a Mexican national--what the customs were in the Mexican culture concerning visiting friends.
Much to my surprise, he said,"It's pretty much like it is here: most of the time, people phone ahead. They might not be home, or not be able to see you for some reason."
So perhaps this tradition isn't as Germanic as we thought...
SELECTED WORST CITIES MURDER (LATE-1990s) EUROPE AND USA
CITY MURDERS PER 100,000 people
(1) Washington, D.C., USA 69.3
(2) Philadelphia, USA 27.4
(3) Dallas, USA 24.8
(4) Los Angeles, USA 22.8
(5) Chicago, USA 20.5
(6) Phoenix, USA 19.1
(7) Moscow, Russia 18.1
(8) Houston, USA 18.0
(9) New York City, USA 16.8
(10) Helsinki, Finland 12.5
(11) Lisbon, Portugal 9.7
(12) San Diego, USA 8.0
(13) Amsterdam, Netherlands 7.7
(14) Belfast, N.Ireland, UK 4.4
(15) Geneva, Switzerland 4.2
(16) Copenhagen, Denmark 4.0
(17) Berlin, Germany 3.8
(18) Paris, France 3.3
(19) Stockholm, Sweden 3.0
(20) Prague, Czechoslovakia 2.9
we are talking about homicide when a criminal kills another human so he / she is dead, no breathing any more. Rigor Mortis.
TEN WORST LARGE CITIES FOR MURDER, 2002 CITY PER 100,000
(1) Washington, DC 45.8
(2) Detroit 42.0
(3) Baltimore 38.3
(4) Memphis 24.7
(5) Chicago 22.2
(6) Philadelphia 19.0
(7) Columbus 18.1
(8) Milwaukee 18.0
(9) Los Angeles 17.5
(10) Dallas 15.8
Washington DC has come top in a poll of the world's murder capitals.
A survey conducted by the UK Home Office of 20 European and nine North American cities put the US capital way out in front with a murder rate of 69.3 per 100,000 population.
Why there is so much MURDER in the US? Can anyone explain that?
Why are the US cities top 1 Murder among the western world?
Why there is so much MURDER in the US? Can anyone explain that?
Why are the US cities top 1 Murder among the western world?
Probably because of gang violence. *Most* of those murders turn out to be gang members killing other gang members and are fairly geographically isolated. I also wouldn't be surprised if the US numbers were actually inflated and the numbers for other Western countries under-reported. As they say, 99% of statistics can be falsified 50% of the time.
Probably due mostly to America's heterogeneity, which is a huge factor in violence around the world... Cultural (or ethnic, or linguistic, etc.) fractionalization consistently shows up as a predictor of violence.
Well the same can be said about places like Colombia and Russia. In Russia the vast majority of murders are mafia related, and in Colombia the vast majority are related to the guerilla war.
UK is as diverse as US so your argument is flawled.