Why the Brits are different
Written on: Wed, 10 Nov 2010; 20:33
I spent the last week in Aberdeen, Scotland. The English language is my passion, and I am intrigued by the culture. Still, being there and seeing all these Brits going about their daily lives, I did notice a few things. I have travelled the world and seen many cultures, but I hadn't realised that a culture so close to home could be so different from my own.

King's CollegeThe first thing I want to mention is the traffic lights. They go Green-Orange-Red (so far normal) and then Red-Orange-Green. Why the orange? At first I thought it was useful. Cars could get ready for driving, it would speed up traffic. The strangest thing, however, was that sometimes those orange lights were flashing for a few seconds, while at the same time the green pedestrian light was flashing too. This means there were still pedestrians crossing while the cars were starting to drive! It felt very unsafe, being a pedestrian who finished crossing while the light was still flashing green. Drivers do not look at the pedestrians. They look at the traffic light, which has turned orange, meaning they can drive.

Red TreeThen there is the queueing. Walking to the bus stop in a busy street I saw a lot of people. No one, however, was sitting or standing inside the actual bus stop-place. So I walked straight up to the doors of the bus, and got all weird looks. Shruti - with whom I spent this lovely week - then said we should stand at the back of the queue. A queue for getting into a bus! In the Netherlands - and really anywhere else I've ever gotten onto a bus - it's simply a group of people fighting to get on a bus. You may say they are polite, decent citizens because of this. Still, I couldn't' get used to it. They simply queue for everything!

Castle GateWhile we're on the topic of buses. We were in a bus in the main street - Union Street - on our way home. Suddenly another bus turned backwards into us. We were standing right in the turny bit of the bus, and that was where it hit. Gave us quite a shock, but luckily everyone was fine. What surprised me was that the driver simply went out to check there was nothing seriously wrong with his bus, and then drove on. There was no police, no one checking whether all the passengers were okay, not even a conversation between the two drivers. Of course it would have held up traffic, but isn't it important to sort those things out?

Now, I believe these are the weirdest things I have found out about the Brits during my week in Aberdeen.

Giant graveyardBy the way, if anyone ever decides to go and visit Aberdeen, bear in mind that there will be two (maybe three) things that you will see: "fake" castles and graveyards, and possibly the sea. I had a truly fantastic time in Aberdeen, so don't think that was a negative thing at all! It gives the city a feeling of authenticity and uniqueness, and it results in fantastic photographs!


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