Why island monkeys? (original page)

I am aware that the net is full of blogs and no-one really has the time to read yet another one. So what. I know of at least one person who will be grateful for it: my husband. Why? Well, that way he gets a break from having to listen to my rants which usually include variations of “where I come from…”

Which brings me to the reason why I am writing this: I am an alien. A German in the UK. A big-city girl in a backwater town. In Essex, of all places. I am trying to make the best of it. Which is hard.

Mainly because Brits are weird.

Weird beyond their strange insistence on driving on the wrong side of the road. Or maintaining an expansive Royal Family which has no real job other than supporting poor tabloid journalists in making a living.

The other day, after one of my tirades, my dad asked me the German equivalent of “Is there actually anything that you like about living in England?” “Apart from being able to be with my husband?” I replied. “Sure.” And it’s true, there are things that I positively miss when I’m in Germany. Rhubarb crumble. British comedy. Hedges of fuchsia (hence my photograph in the header). Bed linen that costs only a fraction of what one would have to fork out in Germany (It can’t be the sheep, can it? After all, it’s not New Zealand!).

But then there are so many things that drive me nuts on a daily basis.Β This is what this blog is all about.Β I can promise you it will be ugly. Nasty. Vicious. In real life I am trying to steer clear of swearwords for the temporary benefit of my 2-year old son. I might not be equally G-rated here. It’s just so bad!

There, that’s my justification for boring you, who intentionally or unwittingly stumbled across my blog, with my insights. Which leaves only two questions to be answered.

  1. Why on earth would a German blog in English? Well, that’s easy. I am not just a nagging bitch, I do care about the Brits. And how are they supposed to see the errs of their ways if they couldn’t understand a word of my constructive criticism?
  2. What the heck is an island monkey? It’s the literal translation of the German word Inselaffe which is one of the nicknames we call the Brits by. And I would like to make it clear that it is a term of endearment. Really. A bit like they like to call us Krauts. All very innocent. Would I call myself an immigrant island monkey otherwise?

Oh, one more thing: Along the way I might even get a chance to refute the common misconception that Germans don’t have a sense of humour. Let me know how I’m doing.

19 thoughts on “Why island monkeys? (original page)

  1. I have a few friends from Deutschland and a cousin who is half-German who are all not bad in the humor department. Who said Germans have no sense of humor?

    Nice blog you got here. I’ll be back to read your rants about the Inselaffe (and you’ve just taught me a new word).

    • Hi Nel, glad you found me here and thanks for commenting.
      Yeah, the humour thing… you know, one of these stereotypes. Like the French are great lovers, the English can’t cook (post coming up about this one too, one day) or the Swedish are all blond. Say hi to your cousin and friends from me, I’m grateful there are such great ambassadors for us Germans out there. Oh, and tell them to take their socks off when they are wearing sandals πŸ˜‰
      Anyway, looking forward to seeing you here again, take care.

  2. You’re doing very well refuting that lack-of-sense-of-humour stereotype πŸ™‚

    And I can very much relate to your feelings – I’m also an alien living amongst the Brits, married to an Englishman and finding the cross-cultural challenges kind of interesting… (Have you ever read “Watching the English” by Kate Fox? You’d love it. Seriously.)

    • Hi Lyagushka, thank you for the lovely compliment. I do what I can, and sometimes, humour is the only way to cope πŸ˜‰ No, seriously, I like living here, but the “cross-cultural challenges”, as you so aptly name them, keep me on my toes. I suppose, if I would have come here at a younger, less opinionated age, things might be different. But then maybe not as entertaining for some either…
      Will definitely go and check out that book, now that it’s available for Kindle. Thanks again for stopping by and commenting.

  3. Pingback: Psst, don’t tell anyone. I actually like the island monkeys. Sometimes. « island monkeys

  4. As your husbands life long body gaurd, good influence and protector I would like to state that “The Island Monkeys” cannot be as bad as the stories his eccentric and eclectic life style choices deliver in humour and satire. As a fellow cynic and people watcher/commentator I applaud your efforts and I am tempted to stop making jokes about people who sneak out of their rooms at two in the morning to put towels on chairs or people that can use the word “now” in five different time phases that dont mean now at all!!!

    • Hey Mr. Morris, I hope by my “efforts” you don’t actually mean “my utterly sorry and inadequate attempts of ridiculing the ways of the noble race of island-dwelling western Europeans called Brits”.
      I suppose, if you have the right angle (provided by having grown up with slightly different points of view) you could poke fun of pretty much every people. So, please, don’t stop making jokes about South Africans and Germans! I’ll laugh about anything remotely funny.
      PS: It is NOT zee Germans who put towels on pool chairs. That is a typically British trait!

  5. Au contraire, I think the Brits are just there from the night before….. So a bit of SA bashing(we need to find a moniker for this breed – Japies?)…… I find it very amusing how the Japies assume no-one else in the world understands Afrikaans so this makes them invisible, bullet proof and able to speak really loudly. Pet Hate!!

    Brit Bashing, I think this pathological need for schools to label a child in some category or the other is debilitating for kids expressing themselves (ask your hubbie about this….) Why are Island Monkeys cr@p at sport, because most schools dont facilitate sport any more. However this point may be debatable because the Japies think they are good so that makes them crap.

    Finally the lovers of fermented cabbage, I struggle with this one as they make great beer and great sausages which in my book is “wunderbar”, however let’s be honest, travel etiquette is not a strong point…..

    Finally your point on having the right angle should be age restricted, I thought I was reading an Anne Summers catalogue for a moment……

    • Gee, I was kind of expecting another final paragraph or two. Longest comment ever πŸ™‚

      Can’t really chime in on the Saffers since I haven’t met enough of them yet. Well, maybe being married to one makes up for that a bit.

      While we are bashing Brits (and don’t say I started it), I think they are crap at sport because they are… how to put this politely… a bit on the chubby side? Or maybe I have just mixed up cause and result, who knows.

      German travel etiquette has to be one of the Most. Infuriating. Things. Ever. How many times have I pretended not to be German while abroad to avoid having to talk to some numpty complaining about “The locals”. Urgh!

      Finally (and this is really going to be my last comment on this), you just have a filthy mind, meneer! Not that I’m surprised.

  6. I spoke to a German girl whilst on holiday in Ibiza in 1984 and she was telling me that Germans call us Brits island monkeys ie insellaffe. When I asked her why she said cause all English men have big ears like a monkey

  7. I’ve spent some time in Germany, and met many Germans. They most definately DO have a sense of humour.

    If you crack a joke to a German and they look at you like you’re an imbecile, it’s likely not because they don’t have a sense of humour, but because you don’t, The difference is that they aren’t prepared to laugh out of politeness like many of my fellow island monkeys are.

    Oh the realisation.
    Easier to tell yourself a German doesn’t have a sense of humour I suppose…

    • Hey Bob, thank you so much for your perspective. Let’s just say people’s senses of humour are different. My sister doesn’t get me either, and as a good German she isn’t holding back about it πŸ˜‰

  8. When I lived in Germany for 6 years 3 in paderborn which is a dump and 3 in moenchengladbach which was lovely we didn’t call you krauts we called you box heads or karten Kopf I think and I also live in Essex now

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