I have lived in the UK for nigh on three years now, and the thing that keeps boggling my mind is just how paranoid the island monkeys are.
Boys can’t wear tights or play with dolls because that’s for girls, and girls only. Imagine the damage if your boy did these things! He’d surely grow a vagina or turn gay!
No-one in this country dares to give their bank details to anyone for fast and easy bank transfers. That’s why cheques incomprehensibly are still ubiquitous here.
Oh, and for the love of Darwin, don’t ever let your toddler run around freely because he could get snatched by a pervert.
As a matter of fact, paedophiles are lurking everywhere these days, so you better beware.
Taking photographs of your little monster when he’s attempting his first tentative steps into the shallow end of the local swimming pool? Forget it! Who knows, you could deviously snap other kiddies and publish their pics on the interwebs, you bad, bad person you! Even at the ice rink, where everyone is wrapped up really nicely, you are not allowed to shoot silly photos of your friends because, well, it says so on the sign. The rules of paranoia also demand the nursery first obtain all parents’ consent before taking and displaying pics in the confined environment of a particular room. Ridiculous!
In my not so humble opinion, Brits are waaayyy too concerned with their privacy.
The most important piece of furniture in our study is … drumroll … a shredder! That’s right. Ok, I give him the benefit of the doubt because he grew up in South Africa, but my dear husband is just short of forcing me to destroy every tiny bit of completely innocuous paper. Granted, I wouldn’t put my intact bank statements into the paper recycling collection bag either. But blank envelopes just because they have my name on it? There surely must be smarter ways to steal my identity if someone was so inclined.
Wait! Maybe not. Because in this country, it’s not only fairly hard to find out the address of a particular abode, seeing that street name signs are few and far between and house numbers are often inconspicuous, overgrown or missing altogether. More importantly, no-one displays their names on their doors. Ever!
Where I come from, the doorbells generally freely exhibit the family name of the inhabitant/s, as do the mailboxes. What a fancy way to make sure mail is delivered to the correct receiver!
We have lived in our current house for more than 2 1/2 years now, and we still on a regular basis get mail for four (4!) different previous tenants. Go figure!
As always, I wonder why we Krauts are not as fussed. Is identity theft less of a threat there? Or kidnapping? Are we simply less susceptible to panicmongering by the media? Or are German prisons just that much more effective as a scare tactic?
Maybe it’s all of the above.