The Daily Mail reader’s cut-out-and-keep guide to foreign types and their unfamiliar ways.
With the score on the battlefield heavily in our favour, our stroppy Gallic cousins seem determined to strike at the drop of a hat (or beret). Still convinced of their own Great Power status despite being an irrelevance since May 1940, the Frenchman focuses his efforts not on the noble aim of world peace and prosperity, but rather on turning arrogance into an art form.
The French have found the European Union his latest vehicle for continental domination; inspired by garlic flavoured socialism, every facet of life now needs to be stamped, approved and subsidised by an army faceless busy-bodies.
Like the German, only less emotional, the Scandinavian is a clinical and eminently functional creature. Despite being home to beautiful landscapes and people, the inhabitants of these lands fill their hours designing flat-packed furniture for the multitude back in Blighty. The place sees less sunlight than Count Dracula’s innersole, and the fiery temper that terrified Northern Europe millennia ago now seems to have been channelled into techno-music.
Germans above, Italians below, with French and Austrians either side; you’d never rent that apartment would you!? The place does however seem to be the last European bastion of independence, thumbing its nose the Brussels and making sure brown people are as a rare a receipt for 1940’s gold bullion….
The Russian people have never had it easy. Their climate is a byword for hardship and they’ve been incessantly governed by tyrants whose brutality fluctuates with the garishness of the uniforms. Fuelled by the Dutch Courage of oil and natural gas, Putin seems keen on ‘getting the band back together’ by buying or bullying the former Soviet states into line…but at least he can be applauded for nipping that gay propaganda in the bud. Good show!
Even for those with the misfortune of living there, it’s hard to keep up with the Balkans. It seems like every twenty minutes another rabble with their own slang and pet name for God seem to think they deserve a country. Life seemed much easier when it was the just Austrians and Turks squabbling over provinces.
The problem child of Europe. The Teuton suffers from an affliction common to foreigners; a lingering desire to be British. Germany and Britain share a mutual suspicion of Russia and a shared contempt of France. Just don’t forget to remind them about ‘The War’ every 38 seconds, not that we’re obsessed with it, of course.
Olive oil, combined with the blood-flow restricting properties of tight fitting shirts causes those parts of the brain dealing with reason and soundness to be fatally suppressed. The home of the Renaissance, Italy is now home to football violence, unreliable cars, and a criminally inefficient white goods industry. Even Italy’s attempt at Fascism faltered as soon as it demanded more than poncing around in snazzy uniforms.
N/A… They’re all over here simultaneously on benefits whilst taking our jobs.
The Near East and Holy Land
A preponderance of bearded crazies means a gin & tonic is only slightly easier to come by than a bacon sandwich. The lands that gave us astronomy and universities now seem caught betwixt two worlds; longing for the technological development and prosperity of the West, whilst seeking to turn the societal clock back to 1136 A.D. Sorry Johnny Jihad you can’t have both…
The Empire. You’re welcome.
The United States
The colonies have given the world some true wonders, not least among them putting wheels on suitcases. Like the kraut, the Yank longs to be British. It should come as no surprise that the richer an American becomes, the more British he appears; Argyll knitwear, double-barrel surnames, an interest in golf, yachting, oak furniture, family crests around the home, and an ever softer American accent. However all this hard work is quickly undone by a perverse insistence on placing Roman numerals at the end of a child’s name. Hang in there Billy-Bob IV; you’ll get the knack of it.
The Dominion of Canada
One must respect the Dominion’s ability to resist the tidal wave of vulgarity that rises from the South. Her Majesty is still head of state and the Royal Canadian Mountain Police have resisted the urge to don vile baseball caps in the style US law enforcement officials. Pity about the French lodgers though.
Brazil’s national motto, emblazoned upon its flag, reads Ord em Progresso, meaning Order and Progress. One can’t think two words less associated with Latin America than those. The region staggers from one financial crisis to the next, stopping only long enough to qualify for the World Cup. Sadly, the region’s purveyors of white uniforms, aviation sunglasses and medals may have taken a knock since the military dictators left.
Since parting company with European rulers who knew what was best for them, African states have been hijacked by a series of James Bond villains posing as presidents. Ever fond of throwing good money after bad, the EU (read, France) seems hell-bent on pouring aid money into the Swiss bank accounts of a parade of butchers and tyrants. At least the Dark Continent gives Lenny Henry something do to once a year when Comic Relief roles round.
In the early thirties Japan started to take the whole empire thing far too seriously and set a course of expansion that would make Starbucks dizzy. Having realised they couldn’t conquer the world, they decided to buy it instead and now our homes are filled with chargers for their gadgets. Although the youth have a penchant for bizarre hair and school uniforms, Japan still has all the qualities that Britain once possessed, including humility, politeness, respect for elders, and near zero immigration. Oh, and they drive on the correct side of the road.
Like the Soviets, only with more corruption. In fact they’re scarier than the Soviets because they look even more foreign and seem to shout a bit when they talk. Oh, and they don’t treat dogs very. A lot of bad form all round, really. And to think… they invented tea!
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