Aberdeen, Glasgow, Brussels, Bruges, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Edinburgh Part 3 - Being British Abroad versus Being European Abroad (versus Being Scottish

I went on Holiday to Aberdeen, Glasgow, Brussels, Bruges, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Edinburgh and these are the posts from this trip.


I am British and as such have the following qualities.
- I am polite
- I am naturally charming
- I am historically proud
- I sneer at younger, newer countries
- I drink tea
- I pity the ex-colonies
- I queue

The above is not an exhaustive list by any means, but it’s pretty band on the money in real terms I suppose. I actually hit most, if not all, of these points in full effort, and some in slightly less colourful ways. I am British though, and this means that as soon as someone hears where I am from I they know what to expect.

So in Amsterdam we saw other Brits on tour being drunken arseholes and as such realised that we were bucking the trend. A fat man dancing with his top off in the Red Light District is something that I never wanted to see, but actually expected, as us Brits get everywhere. As usual, we met some other Glaswegians on the Heineken tour, but they seemed to be as embarrassed about being Scottish and British as we were.

Sometimes, it pays to pretend to not be British. In example, when perusing the various shows of the city, one Amsterdam connoisseur of the act of sex said “Scottish? You guys are all perverts, come on in!” and we declined. I might be a pervert, but I’d like to pretend I am not. Also, sitting, pissed out of my nut powering through a rough hangover that was entirely someone else’s fault the waitress asked where we were from – Shayan confusing matters by saying Iranian in a moment of slight madness. I admitted we were Scottish and she joked “I wouldn’t have guessed from your hair and beard!”.

I suppose that’s the most important thing about being British, and that’s being able to take insults that are meant well – our sense of humour is world renowned. Recently I watched Sarah Silverman do a stand up show that seemed to have her American audience in rapturous laughter. My room, the majority of which was British and the minority is basically British having accepted tea and rain into her life, thought it was rubbish too.

It’s fun thoug when abroad prending to be otherwise un-British. It’s like stealing a pack of chewing gum because you feel like you’re breaking some massive conspiracy, or doing something highly illegal, when really you are not. It’s the least rock and roll thing to do but queue jumping not only is heart racingly fun, it’s so uncouth and un-British I had to sing God Save the Queen when partaking in this unholy past-time. My other Britons didn’t push it with such fervour, but still made a good job of fucking with the establishment on one thing we hold in high regard.